‘Eter­nally grate­ful’ for char­ity hos­pi­tal

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - HEALTH

More than 14,000 pa­tients de­nied treat­ment in the health sys­tem have re­ceived care since the Can­ter­bury Char­ity Hos­pi­tal opened its doors in a Hare­wood Rd villa ten years ago.

Lit­tle did the hos­pi­tal’s co­founder/sur­geon Pro­fes­sor Phil Bagshaw pre­dict his vi­sion of free health­care for those shut out of the sys­tem would grow to en­com­pass three high-tech build­ing de­vel­op­ments, two state-ofthe-art theatres, oral surgery suites and mul­ti­ple con­sult­ing rooms staffed by more than 300 com­mit­ted vol­un­teers med­i­cal and sup­port staff.

‘‘I thought it would only be a low-tech fa­cil­ity,’’ Bagshaw said. ‘‘I never dreamed it would pro­vide high-tech ser­vices across so many var­ied ar­eas of health­care.’’

He paid trib­ute to the hun­dreds of gen­er­ous donors as well as the non med­i­cal vol­un­teers in ar­eas from re­cep­tion to build­ing main­te­nance and gar­den­ing.

As the hos­pi­tal cel­e­brates its 10th birthday to­day, its log shows 14, 337 free pa­tient vis­its, 4950 out­pa­tient vis­its, 2045 oral surgery and den­tal treat­ments, 1375 gen­eral surgery pro­ce­dures, 829 gy­nae­co­log­i­cal pro­ce­dures, 424 or­tho­pe­dic op­er­a­tions, 331 au­dio or ear pro­ce­dures, 178 en­doscopy pro­ce­dures, 119 eye op­er­a­tions, 63 vas­cu­lar pro­ce­dures, and 3587 free post-quake coun­selling ses­sions.

Sum­ner re­tiree Ross Clapp was the first pa­tient to re­ceive treat­ment – a des­per­ately-needed her­nia re­pair – at the char­ity hos­pi­tal and said he was ‘‘eter­nally grate­ful’’.

Char­ity Hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tive officer Carl Earl said with­out the will­ing spirit, gen­eros­ity and en­thu­si­asm of lo­cal spe­cial­ists, sur­geons, nurses and the­atre staff, noth­ing would have hap­pened. He praised the Ox­ford Women’s Health team as ‘‘noth­ing short of out­stand­ing.’’

Ox­ford Women’s Health clin­i­cal di­rec­tor and gy­nae­col­o­gist Simon Jones, said when he ar­rived in Christchurch more than ten years ago, the pub­lic wait­ing list for women seek­ing surgery to help with fam­ily plan­ning, stretched to seven years.

La­paro­scopic tubal lig­a­tion and con­tra­cep­tive pro­ce­dures could take as lit­tle as 15 min­utes and con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to women’s health and well­be­ing, he said.

‘‘Ac­cess­ing pub­lic help for these pro­ce­dures is still dif­fi­cult to­day,’’ he said. ‘‘The scor­ing thresh­old re­quire­ment for treat­ment is ex­tremely high.’’

All pa­tients must be re­ferred by their GP or den­tist.

DAVID WALKER/STUFF

Pro­fes­sor Phil Bagshaw in the east wing op­er­at­ing the­atre in the Can­ter­bury Char­ity Hos­pi­tal.

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