PN Hos­pi­tal cel­e­brates 125 years

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS -

Palmer­ston North Hos­pi­tal has proudly marked 125 years of pro­vid­ing health­care to the com­mu­nity.

The hos­pi­tal was opened on Novem­ber 27, 1893, and the an­niver­sary was marked on Novem­ber 27, 2018, with a cel­e­bra­tion, tree plant­ing and plaque un­veil­ing.

Spe­cial guests, in­clud­ing cur­rent and former staff and board mem­bers, the Honourable Dr David Clark Min­is­ter of Health, and Palmer­ston North Mayor Grant Smith, at­tended the event.

The Min­is­ter, Mayor and guests were wel­comed on site to the Gar­den of Tran­quil­ity with a po¯ whiri of­fi­ci­ated by mem­bers of the Pae Ora Ma¯ ori Health Direc­torate and kau­matua from Manawhenua Hauora. This was fol­lowed by the plant­ing of a ko¯ whai tree to mark the mile­stone.

Dr Clark said 125 years was an im­pres­sive mile­stone for the hos­pi­tal.

“These are re­ally won­der­ful oc­ca­sions. An op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the his­tory but also the con­tri­bu­tions of those staff to­day who are serv­ing our com­mu­nity so well.

“The hos­pi­tal has achieved nu­mer­ous mile­stones to be proud of since it opened in 1893. Just some of those key achieve­ments in­clude start­ing district nurs­ing in 1914, ob­tain­ing its first X-ray equip­ment in 1931, open­ing a chapel in 1957 and start­ing the coun­try’s first Coro­nary Care Unit in 1966.”

MidCen­tral DHB chair­woman Dot McKin­non spoke of the hos­pi­tal’s hum­ble begin­nings. When it opened in 1893, the hos­pi­tal had no elec­tric­ity, only two doc­tors and three nurses, just four wards, and beds for 25 pa­tients.

“It was a com­mu­nity af­fair — a hos­pi­tal es­tab­lished by the peo­ple of the district for the district’s peo­ple. Its his­tory is steeped with gen­er­ous and com­mit­ted in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions who have worked ex­traor­di­nar­ily hard to make sure a first-class hos­pi­tal ser­vice is de­liv­ered every day of every year.

“Over the past 125 years the hos­pi­tal and its ser­vices have changed out of sight, and the pace con­tin­ues to gain more and more mo­men­tum.

“The hos­pi­tal now has over 300 beds and 2500 staff.

“I salute those who have gone be­fore in mak­ing this hos­pi­tal great, and pay trib­ute to all who work in it to­day.

“Palmer­ston North Hos­pi­tal is con­sid­er­ably big­ger than it ever was, and we want to now em­bark on the next stage of upgrade to en­sure it re­mains ca­pa­ble of meet­ing the com­mu­nity’s needs.”

Dr Clark said MidCen­tral DHB was in­no­va­tive, pro­gres­sive and in­clu­sive and had led the way in clin­i­cal, op­er­a­tional and so­cial fields, both na­tion­ally and internationally, for New Zealand in so many ways.

“So I want to I ac­knowl­edge the ded­i­ca­tion and hard work that’s led to that — the gen­er­a­tions of doc­tors, nurses, mid­wives, al­lied health work­ers and other health work­ers who have con­trib­uted over the last 125 years to those firsts and to the ev­ery­day care, qual­ity care and ser­vices that are pro­vided in our com­mu­nity.”

MidCen­tral DHB CEO Kathryn Cook gave spe­cial thanks to Downer and Hawkins Con­struc­tion for their kind do­na­tions to­wards the event, and ac­knowl­edged Brian Wilton and Dr Peter Hurly for pro­vid­ing their re­stored am­bu­lances for the hos­pi­tal cel­e­bra­tions.


MidCen­tral District Health Board chief ex­ec­u­tive Kathryn Cook (left) and chair­woman Dot McKin­non with Min­is­ter of Health Dr David Clark at the Palmer­ston North Hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing along­side re­stored am­bu­lances owned by Brian Wilton and Dr Peter Hurly.

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