Thank you Mark Dunajtschik:
A wealthy property developer is to build and gift a new $50 million children’s hospital in Wellington. Mark Dunajtschik signed an agreement with Capital & Coast District Health Board this morning to build the facility, which would have 50 inpatient hospital beds as well as space for families.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomed the generosity of Mr Dunajtschik, who he said had been a substantial benefactor in the areas of health, sport and education for 40 years. This latest act of giving back was unparalleled, he said.
Capital & Coast DHB chairman Andrew Blair, who made the initial announcement, said the offer was “amazingly generous” and would have a big impact on patients, families and staff.
The existing children’s hospital was nearly 30 years old and no longer fit for purpose, he said. “We’ve been working on a long-term plan for child health services, which included a new children’s hospital – but building wasn’t going to start for several years. “Mr Dunajtschik’s generosity means we’ll get the hospital much sooner.”
This is great news! But it does raise an obvious point:
A leading child health expert said it should not have taken the multi-million dollar gift to get a new children’s hospital in the capital.
Paediatric Society president David Newman said it was wonderful but should not have had to wait for private support. “You only build a hospital facility once every 20 or 30 years. It does need to be planned for, it does need to be paid for … But to not do it to save money does not help in the provision of high-quality health care that we expect in this country.”