Waikato District Health Board (DHB) will go to the market to find commercial operators to sell food and products out of Waikato Hospital’s Meade Clinical Centre .
A DHB-operated community pharmacy will also open in the Meade Clinical Centre.
The original business case for Waikato DHB’s $500 million service and facility redevelopment project always included provision for a pharmacy and retailers.
Neville Hablous, director of board governance said the spaces, based on surveys undertaken two years ago, could comprise a cafeteria, sushi/sandwich bar, convenience store and espresso coffee kiosk.
“There is nothing firm about these proposals. We intend to be open to suggestions from respondents which differ from this especially where the potential revenue to the Waikato DHB supports alternative uses. This means that sound commercial judgement will need to be applied during the process,” he said.
Lack of an on-site pharmacy in Waikato Hospital has been identified as a service gap in staff and patient surveys.
The pharmacy would help patients transferring from hospital to primary care and would carry a more comprehensive range of medicines than a normal retail pharmacy, such as specialised and unfunded drugs a number of which are currently supplied from the inpatient hospital pharmacy.
It would also provide affordable generic over the counter medications.
Brett Paradine, interim chief operating officer, said establishing a community pharmacy in Waikato Hospital would provide greater responsiveness to the needs of the hospital, patients and staff.
“There is an unfulfilled need for an easily accessible community pharmacy service on campus for inpatients being discharged, for those who have received care from the Emergency Department or within outpatient clinics and for visitors, as well as for the large numbers of staff working at the Waiora Waikato hospital campus,” he said.
The financial viability and success of the community pharmacy is dependent on the amount of dispensing being sufficient to make a profit for the DHB.
Factored into the decision was the foot traffic in Meade Clinical Centre, Emergency Department and outpatient clinic numbers, and the strong financial performance of onsite pharmacies at other hospitals in New Zealand.
Work will begin soon and be complete later in the year.