‘Eternally grateful’ for charity hospital
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.
Professor Phil Bagshaw in the east wing operating theatre in the Canterbury Charity Hospital.