Historic Day for Bidwill

5558833NATASHA MARTIN

The Timaru Herald GOOD HEALTH: Bidwill Trust Hospital manager Val Flyn, left, and surgeon Gavin Wilton celebrate the opening of the hospital's new upgrade.Timaru Herald
MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD

Bidwill Trust Hospital's multi-million dollar expansion has increased its size and capacity by more than 70 per cent.

Trust chairman Mark Hervey said yesterday's opening was a "historic day" in the history of the hospital, which was established in 1912. The recent expansion was the culmination of a five-year effort, and cost nearly $6 million.

"After two years in planning, the board accepted the tender of Hendersons Building in January last year," he said.

"What you see tonight is a major investment in health facilities for South Canterbury. The new Bidwill is 70 per cent larger, with a new day care ward, new theatre, six-bed recovery ward, kitchen and many other supporting facilities."

Mr Hervey praised the board members and staff involved in the hospital during the expansion, and congratulated Hendersons Building.

Surgeon Graeme Roadley said the upgraded facilities were "state of the art", but joked that he had also been promised his own locker if he spoke at the presentation.

Timaru district councillor Steve Earnshaw, also a surgeon, said the expansion was a "big win" for the community.

"It removes a lot of the restraint on what sort of operations the hospital was able to perform, but it also leaves some options open for more co-operation with the public hospital," he said.

Gavin Wilton, a former surgeon at the hospital, cut the ribbon at the end of the ceremony, which was attended by dozens of community members.

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