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Dunedin Public Hospital

Dunedin Hospital is the main public hospital in Dunedin, New Zealand. It serves as the major base hospital for the Otago and Southland regions with a potential catchment radius of roughly 300 kilometres, and a population of around 300,000.

Dunedin Hospital
Southern District Health Board
Dunedin Public Hospital from Signal Hill Sep 2007.jpg
Dunedin Hospital from Signal Hill
LocationDunedin, New Zealand, Otago, New Zealand
Coordinates45°52′10″S 170°30′31″E / 45.8694°S 170.5086°E / -45.8694; 170.5086Coordinates: 45°52′10″S 170°30′31″E / 45.8694°S 170.5086°E / -45.8694; 170.5086
Care systemPublicly funded
Hospital typeTeaching, Tertiary Referral
Affiliated universityUniversity of Otago
Emergency departmentYes
Beds400 (per 2015 audit)
ListsHospitals in New Zealand


Dunedin Hospital is New Zealand's largest hospital south of Christchurch. Patients are transferred or sent to this tertiary level care hospital from smaller secondary care hospitals across Otago and Southland including Dunstan Hospital in Clyde, Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown and Oamaru, Gore and Invercargill hospitals.

Dunedin Hospital is operated by the Southern District Health Board, formed by the amalgamation of the Otago District Health Board and Southland District Health Board. It is located in the central business district of Dunedin close to the University of Otago, occupying the city block bounded by Great King Street, Hanover Street, Cumberland Street and Frederick Street. It is an approximately 400-bed tertiary hospital and is affiliated with the University of Otago. It has approximately 3,000 staff members.[1]


The Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter taking off from the hospital helipad

The Ward Block building has a helipad on the roof of the northeast corner (ICAO: NZDH).[2] The building was designed with consideration for a helipad, and, after substantial fundraising, one was built on the roof in circa 2000. The hospital helipad improves patient care, reducing the need for ambulance transfers between a remote helipad and the hospital. Due to CAA safety requirements, only "Performance Class One" (twin-engined) helicopters are allowed to land on the hospital.[2]


The original hospital was built at The Octagon in 1851, and moved to the site of the present hospital in 1865.[3]

2007 Norovirus outbreakEdit

In March 2007 two wards of the hospital were closed due to a suspected outbreak of norovirus, thought to have been brought in by a patient.[4] On 16 August 2008 the hospital was put in lockdown for one week due to a norovirus outbreak affecting 73 patients and nearly 100 staff, blocking most visitors for the duration, and postposting 2,300 procedures.[5][6][7]


Parts of the hospital are significantly dated, especially the Clinical Services Block (erected 1965) which was constructed with asbestos, as was standard construction practice at the time. The Clinical Services Block has also had significant maintenance issues, such as asbestos and leaks in the roof which allowed rain water to seep into the main operating theatres during a storm.[8] As a result of these and other issues, a significant rebuild project is underway for the reconstruction of the entire hospital, headed by Pete Hodgson, at an estimated cost of $1.2 to 1.6 billion. It is estimated to be completed by 2028.[9]

On 4 May 2018, Health Minister David Clark announced that the Government would be building a new public hospital on the site of the former Cadbury factory site and a neighbouring block that included the building occupied by Work and Income. The construction project is estimated to cost NZ$1.4 billion, would involve around a thousand workers, and is expected to finish by 2026. Clark confirmed that the Government had purchased the former Cadbury factory site from Mondelez for an undisclosed sum. While the Government has ruled out private-public partnership, Clark has told Stuff that the Government has not ruled out Iwi investment.[10][8]


  1. ^ "Dunedin Hospital". Southern District Health Board. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Dunedin Hospital Heliport aerodrome chart" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  3. ^ "Hospitals". 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  4. ^ "Bug closes two Dunedin hospital wards". New Zealand Herald. March 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  5. ^ McLean, Elspeth (16 August 2008). "Norovirus restricts access to hospital". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  6. ^ "Hospital still in lockdown amid seven new cases". New Zealand Herald. August 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  7. ^ Schofield, Edith (22 August 2008). "Dunedin Hospital to lift lockdown". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  8. ^ a b "Dunedin Hospital announcement: What you need to know". Otago Daily Times. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  9. ^ Houlahan, Mike (11 April 2018). "Hodgson's hospital homes plan". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  10. ^ McNeilly, Hamish (4 May 2018). "Popular tourist attraction Cadbury World closing to make way for $1.4 billion Dunedin Hospital". Retrieved 4 May 2018.

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