A newly redeveloped Queenstown hospital is already reducing patient travel time.
The $9.3 million redeveloped Lakes District Hospital was officially opened by Health Minister David Clark this afternoon.
The redevelopment includes a new emergency department, refurbished outpatient clinic facilities and a new CT scanner - a Siemens Go Top 128 slice scanner.
The Southern District Health Board said the scanner was the first of its type to be installed in a public hospital and had performed more than 500 scans since June.
The demand for emergency services has increased as the population and tourism grows.
The scan had vastly reduced patient travel time and sped up diagnosis and treatment, the DHB said.
The new ED includes nine beds, two resuscitation bays, a medical students' training room, plaster bay and decontamination area.
Each month, there can be up to 1200 ED presentations, leading to about 90 transfers to other hospitals. That includes transfers to Dunedin Hospital - a three-and-a-half-hour-long drive.
Southern DHB commissioner Kathy Grant said the redeveloped facility ensured Queenstown had a hospital and ED that is fit for purpose.
"This is an important step on a journey as we continue to strengthen health services in the fast-growing Central Lakes area," she said.
"It means the community in Queenstown, so far from the facilities in major centres, are better able to be supported in an emergency, have their condition assessed, and be monitored or transferred as needed. And our staff have a better environment and are better supported to provide this care."
Stage one of the redevelopment was finished in May, which included the new Emergency Department.
The $9.3m upgrade was funded by the Southern DHB while the CT scanner and planned whānau room received donations through the Lakes District Hospital Foundation.