7 Oct 2018

New centre for health science students in Southland

6:41 pm on 7 October 2018

A new University of Otago education and research centre is expected to increase research activity in Southland.

Dunedin School of Medicine dean and professor Barry Taylor.

Dunedin School of Medicine dean and professor Barry Taylor. Photo: Supplied.

The $1.5 million centre is being developed in partnership with the Southern District Health Board.

More than 250 health sciences students are trained in Invercargill annually, and the numbers are expected to continue to increase.

Dunedin School of Medicine dean and professor Barry Taylor said the current facilities were inadequate to support staff and students working or on placement at Southland Hospital.

"We have been planning this for several years and I'm delighted that health sciences students and staff based in Southland will have the necessary facilities to support their learning, teaching and research facilities."

The project announcement has been several years in the making.

The Health Sciences Southland Education and Research Centre will be based on the ground floor of the hospital.

No caption.

Photo: Supplied.

Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said the centre created more connections between the hospital and the university.

"This new centre, which is a perfect fit with the existing education centre, reflects the importance of Southland Hospital in the southern health system.

"Investing in the health professionals of the future can only help improve outcomes for patients."

The centre will feature a range of flexible spaces that can function as teaching rooms, student study spaces, video conferencing rooms, research areas and consultation spaces.

Department of Surgical Sciences Clinical associate professor Konrad Ritcher said the centre would prove a boon for the future of research in Southland.

The centre is expected to be open from February next year.