Auckland City Hospital
The Auckland City Hospital is Auckland's main hospital and the largest hospital in New Zealand, as well as one of the oldest medical facilities of the country. It is a publicly funded hospital, run by the Auckland District Health Board since 2001. Located in the suburb of Grafton, east of the CBD, it has 3,500 rooms and provides a total of 710 beds.

Importance
As New Zealand's largest hospital, the emergency department alone sees about 47,000 patients annually (over 55,000 as of 2008), of which 44% are treated as in-patients. Colocated with its emergency department is the children's emergency department, which sees another 30,000 patients annually, making the campus one of the busiest in Australasia. The hospital is a research and teaching facility as well, providing training for future doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals. Rare or complex medical conditions from all over New Zealand may get referred here. The hospital is closely associated with Starship Children's Health, a separate subsidiary facility on the same grounds, located just to the northwest of the City Hospital.

History

Smaller beginnings
Originally, a timber hospital occupied the Auckland City Hospital site from 1846 to 1877, providing four wards of 10 beds each, and having been designed by Frederick Thatcher, the architect of the St Mary's Church in Parnell. The hospital treated both Europeans and MÄori, though the diseases were different, with the Pakeha treated mostly for the effects of alcohol abuse, while the MÄori came for tuberculosis and rheuma treatment. In 1877, a new building in an italianate style was constructed for ₤25,000, designed by Philip Herepath, architect to the Provincial Government. Administered by T M Philson, the new hospital became known for taking on many charity cases, but partly in response to this was also continually understaffed and overcrowded. There were also complaints about the limited training of the staff, which only changed with the hiring of a new matron, Miss Crisp, in 1883. Having trained in the new tradition of Florence Nightingale, she is credited with turning the hospital from an 'old men with alcoholism institution' into a real hospital, and with instituting real nurse training.

Modern times
The Herepath building was demolished in 1964 to make way for a new structure designed by architects Stephenson & Turner, which was completed in 1967, and still remains. During the health reforms of the New Zealand health system in the early 1990s, Auckland Hospital was run as a business - in the model of state-owned enterprises of New Zealand, i.e. with the instruction to return a profit. In accordance with this policy, Auckland Hospital was officially known as Auckland Crown Health Enterprise. The current hospital facility, opened in 2003, is an amalgam of four previously separate hospitals: Auckland Hospital (acute adult care), Starship (acute children's care), Green Lane Hospital (cardio-thoracic care) and National Women's Hospital (maternity, new-born and obstetrics and gynecology The hospital is situated in a NZ$180 million building which was built between 2000 and 2003. It is nine levels high (ten including plant), five levels less than the older part of the hospital, which has now become the support building. The new structure with 75,575 m² is one of New Zealand's largest public buildings. It was designed by Jasmax and built by Fletcher Construction.

Facilities
The following information are excerpts from the construction company's database :
  • Level 01 - Clinical record & medical waste / waste storage
  • Level 02 - Children’s & adults emergency departments
  • Level 03 - Cardiology general and specialist wards
  • Level 04 - Operating theatres (7), intensive care units
  • Level 05 - Radiology centre
  • Level 06 - General medicine, dermatology, infectious diseases, oncology and haematology wards
  • Level 07 - General surgery, trauma, orthopaedic, rheumatology, gastrology, urology and respiratoy wards
  • Level 08 - Operating theatres (13), neurology, neurosurgery wards, department of critical care medicine
  • Level 09 - Operating theatres (3), pre- and postnatal care, neonatal intensive care units
  • Level 10 - Plant rooms (air conditioning etc...)
The support building (old hospital) mostly contains administrative offices, clinical and housekeeping support, physio- and occupational therapy, some inpatient and outpatient services as well as teaching and research facilities. The support building is a central part of the hospital complex and is linked to the new building section by a skywalk.