Three rooms in Whangarei hospital’s emergency department are still closed due to a leaky ceiling. Photo / supplied
Work to fix three rooms in Whangārei Hospital’s emergency department that started leaking due to the current cyclone is continuing.
Whangārei MP Emily Henderson said she will be “talking to the [health] minister about immediate assistance if the hospital needs it”.
The rooms had to be closed when rainwater began seeping through the ceiling on Sunday night, which prompted a manager to warn staff of the “unstable and leaking” ED.
Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau Interim Director Provider Services Alex Pimm said the facilities management team were “working on these issues today as the weather allows”.
“There were some leaks in Whangārei Hospital overnight due to the adverse weather however no patient care was compromised.”
Pimm thanked staff for the “incredible way that they have managed during this challenging weather and their commitment to our patients and community”.
Patients and staff have been putting up with faulty lifts and leaky roofs for many years.
The hospital, which services more than 190,000 people, doesn’t meet building standards or requirements for clinical best practice.
A new hospital was announced last November, but construction of the first stage of the project doesn’t start for another three years and isn’t expected to be finished until 2031.
Whangārei MP Emily Henderson said the problems with leaky ceilings weren’t good enough.
“What a pity someone didn’t start building a hospital 10 years ago.
“I’m so bloody angry about the fact we’ve had to put up with this for so long. This is what happens when you don’t build infrastructure.”
Henderson said she would talk to Health Minister Ayesha Verrall about assistance.
However, the new hospital couldn’t be fast-tracked, as it was “state of the art and massive”.
“I have absolute admiration for our hospital staff working in these crappy conditions.
“I’m straining every muscle I have to get the support they need, and am so sorry they’ve had to wait so long.”