$50m children’s hospital gift

Wellington benefactor Mark Dunajtschik will build and gift a new $50 million children’s hospital for the region.

A media release from Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says:

The announcement was made this morning at Wellington Hospital where a heads of agreement was signed between Mr Dunajtschik and Capital and Coast DHB.

“Mr Dunajtschik is a very successful businessman with a very big heart and his offer to build a new children’s hospital for Wellington is extraordinarily generous,” says Dr Coleman.

“While gestures on this scale are not unheard of, they are extremely rare.

“Mr Dunajtschik has said his philosophy is that people blessed with a sound mind and body can look after themselves, but those born with or suffering illness and disability need our support.

“Although he has been a substantial benefactor in the areas of health, sport and education for forty years, this latest act of ‘giving back’ is unparalleled.”

This development will benefit the 4,000 children and their families admitted to child health services at Wellington Regional Hospital each year, as well as over 5,000 children who attend nearly 38,000 outpatient appointments.

While many details are still to be confirmed, the new hospital is expected to be around 7,000m², and is likely to be three floors. It is expected to include 50 inpatient hospital beds, as well as space for families to be together.

Existing child hospital and outpatient services will move into the new hospital. The services and staffing levels are expected to remain the same.

Mr Duanjtschik and his team will now work alongside DHB clinical teams to design a fit for purpose, family centred hospital for the region’s children.

The new hospital will be situated in the Wellington Region Hospital campus, and is expected to begin construction early next year and will take around 18 months.

When we were in Houston a couple of months ago a local told us the city doesn’t really do much for tourists. With the space programme and health precinct it doesn’t need to.

The health precinct covered several blocks and included the The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center . It was established by the University of Texas which funded half the cost, the other half came from the MD Anderson Foundation.

New Zealand health has benefitted from the generosity of  philanthropic people before, for example the T.D. Scott Chair of Urology at Otago University was established when a $1m donation from Trevor Scott was matched by the same amount from the Government’s Partnerships for Excellence Programme.

The $50m donation for the children’s hospital is a very generous one and it comes from a man of whom most of us have never heard.

 

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