The Government of New Zealand has confirmed design for the new Dunedin Hospital project, which is expected to cost a total of more than NZ$1.4bn ($933m).

According to Minister of Health Chris Hipkins, a detailed business case for the new facility has been approved by Cabinet.

The facility is set to feature two buildings – Outpatients on the Wilsons block and Inpatients on the Cadbury site. This design is meant to allow strong separation of services and day surgery capacity.

Cabinet has released NZ$127m ($84.6m) to support design, demolition, piling, project management and early contractor engagement. The total cost of the project will be finalised after concept design is complete.

It is expected that the final details of the business case will reach Cabinet for approval by February next year.

Hipkins anticipates the new Dunedin Hospital to be the biggest hospital in New Zealand. The facility will have enhanced clinical capacity and digital technology, as well as integrated services for new care models.

In addition, the project is set to create jobs and opportunities for local businesses.

Hipkins noted: “The new Dunedin Hospital will transform healthcare across the Southern region delivering improved health outcomes for future generations.

“Cabinet agreed the detailed business case in principle as it’s important the project maintains momentum and demolition and design milestones are reached.”

The new 89,000m2 facility will have about 411 beds, including 30 ICU beds, and 20 theatres along with shell space for more theatres. It will be designed to ensure flexibility and future expansion.

Outpatients building is expected to be complete by early 2025, with Inpatients scheduled to finish in the first quarter of 2028.

Ministers of Health and Finance will consider Implementation Business Cases for each building before confirming the main contractor.