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Birthing unit reopens before closure

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/04/2016

Burwood Hospital's birthing unit in Christchurch will reopen for three months before closing for good.

Canterbury District Health Board made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the unit had been closed because staff and women felt unsafe after the February 2011 earthquake.

Chief executive David Meates said the DHB had intended to keep the unit open until it built a new primary maternity unit in the Christchurch area.

However, the February 14 quake forced our hand and it's no longer an option.

"A band aid solution is just not viable when you consider the Primary Birthing Strategy and what's needed long term for our community," he said.

The 1940s building contained a significant amount of asbestos, which created real issues, he said.

The birthing unit will reopen until June 30, and will afterwards be flagged for demolition.

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