Bowen Hospital’s new operating theatre meets demand as COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions ease

Published: 11 May 2020

A new specialised operating theatre at Bowen Hospital is now operational and will support the Wellington community to meet the backlog of cases as Covid-19 Alert restrictions lower to Level 3.

Elective surgeries will now utilise the advanced theatre, and three existing surgical theatres at Bowen Hospital with governance from the Ministry of Health, the local District Health Board, and specialist college and societies guidelines.

The theatre is one of the first integrated facilities in New Zealand offering the latest breakthroughs in medical technology, including advanced imaging capabilities that go beyond clear and concise higher image resolution.

Dorothy Shaw, General Manager of Bowen Hospital, says the completion of the theatre is in line with the hospital’s commitment to meet the increased needs of the wider Wellington community, particularly during this challenging time.

“We know it has been difficult for our patients and their families who have been waiting for surgery. Our new theatre means additional operating capacity as our surgical teams begin to operate more frequently, and tackle a backlog of surgical cases,” said Ms Shaw.

“With a total of four theatres at the ready, we have the capacity to meet the demands of our surrounding region.”

Ms Shaw said the community now has access to the latest in medical technology with the introduction of fluorescence imaging, a game changer in active surgery.

“The new imaging technologies means a surgeon can see live blood perfusion, tumour margins, lymphatics and other critical anatomical structures through the press of a button. It’s quite amazing.”

Bowen Hospital, operated by Acurity Health Group, has undergone a number of major developments since 2009.

The new theatre at Bowen comes at a time of significant investment for Acurity Health Group, with the Wakefield Hospital redevelopment in Wellington, Royston Hospital developments including a new private Orthopaedic Day Surgery Unit in Hawkes Bay, and developments at Grace Hospital, Tauranga.