Community Meeting: Targeted rate for Akaroa Health Centre
9:30am Saturday 16th, Akaroa School Gymnasium
The community consultation regarding the proposed fixed term targeted rate to raise funds for the new Akaroa Health Centre is well underway. Akaroa Community Health Trustees are grateful for the level of interest and have welcomed the vast array of questions received.
A community meeting will be held Saturday 16th, 9:30am at the Akaroa School Gymnasium. The ‘why’ behind the consultation will be presented along with an update on the build and operation of the business before the floor is opened up to questions and discussion. We hope to see many of the community there.
Below is a brief Q&A which addresses many of the queries to date. You can also pick up a document produced by the Akaroa Community Health Trust (ACHT), which outlines what you need to know, from the CCC Akaroa Service Centre.
What’s the added value of an integrated health centre? Maintaining the biggest range of services so people of all ages can be seen and treated locally for as long as possible, keeping families connected through generations, getting the best value by bringing services together and having a Community Health Advisory Group to ensure local needs are attended to.
Is this a replacement hospital? No. CDHB have been clear that they would not build a replacement hospital. The facility is an Integrated Family Health Centre with a medical practice owned by the community, 4 flexi (in-patient) beds under contract to CDHB and 8 aged care bedrooms operated by Akaroa Health Limited (AHL). Visiting allied health professionals will also be able to use the facility as required.
What is the community fundraising for? Two things; $2.5 million capital repayment to CDHB for the building of an aged residential care wing, and $500k for the purchase the medical practice (completed), FFE fitout of the 8 rest home rooms, replacement FFE for the medical practice, and working capital for the enlarged entity.
Is the CCC grant solely for the purpose of meeting CDHB capital repayment obligations? Yes. The CCC grant ($1.3 million maximum funded via a fixed term targeted rate) will go entirely to CDHB towards the community’s contractual obligation/debt of $2.5m.
Why doesn’t the government / CDHB pay for aged care? Aged residential care is privatised in New Zealand. In a community the size of Akaroa and the Bays a dedicated aged residential care facility would be non-viable.
What’s wrong with Pompallier House? The present Pompallier rest home (operated by a local Akaroa Charity) is not fit for purpose and will close as soon as the new facility is ready. It has only remained open (and significantly subsidised by the CDHB) to ensure current residents didn’t have to move away.
Who agreed to the community contribution? Consultation with the community through 2014 and 2015 determined an integrated facility, including aged residential care, that could be community owned and operated sustainably was required. In September 2015 the CDHB confirmed to the Akaroa community that it would build the facility on the Akaroa Hospital site, provided the community contributed $2.5 million. The community again confirmed at a public meeting on 4 September 2015 its wish for the Model of Care that had been established with 12 beds and confirmed that it would raise the $2.5m as its contribution to the facility.
What is ACHT obtaining for its investment? It acquires a 50 year lease on the premises (i.e. the useful life of the building) and an abatement of rental to the extent of the community’s contribution.
Shouldn’t CDHB insurance cover the whole build? There was no insurance pay-out for Akaroa Hospital because the earthquake didn’t damage the building. The post-earthquake inspection process did however, identify a pre-existing risk which made the building unoccupiable. Canterbury’s health infrastructure was extensively damaged and CDHB has had to prioritise the allocation of limited resources according to the benefit they provide. The former Akaroa Hospital could not continue to offer the services provided at the date of the earthquake, as CDHB’s were not funded to provide aged care facilities. Therefore, the community was required to fund that aged care if it wanted to provide it. As we know that has come with other benefits from CDHB, including the 4 medical beds otherwise not provided with a standalone Medical Practice.
When is the Akaroa Health Centre due for completion? July 2019. Once the facility is up and running the ACHT believes it will be more difficult to raise further capital for the project. We continue to actively pursue national grants and the idea of a cruise ship levy but have not yet received support from CCC, government or the owners to progress this.
Why don’t we just continue to fundraise until 2022? ACHT will continue to fundraise and additional funds raised will reduce the rate amount (assessed yearly).
Will fundraising stop if the rate is successful? No. ACHT has a dedicated fundraising sub-committee that continues to search out funding opportunities. The proposed targeted rate is set at a maximum and we would hope to be able to reduce it once we reach our $3m target through wider fundraising.
How long will the rate apply? Two options have been put forward for consideration; 4 years (to align with the term in which ACHT needs to pay the contribution to CDHB) and 10 years. The CCC will accrue interest in the years leading up to the payment to the CDHB. Any interest earned will be deducted from the rate to be collected. After paying the CDHB in 2022, interest will be incurred and added to the rate to be collected.
Is the rate proportionate to capital value of the property? No. The rate will be fixed per rateable property. If you own multiple rateable properties, you will need to pay the targeted rate levy on each of those (unless they are conjoined in which case please speak to the CCC).
What happens if the debt to CDHB can’t be repaid in the given timeframe? Penalty interest will be charged until the sum is paid, plus the community would be in breach of its agreement with CDHB. The agreement negotiated provided the community four years to raise the funds from the time the premises commenced construction (until June 2022).
How will the Akaroa Health Centre be run? The Akaroa Structure Group formed two charitable entities – Akaroa Community Health Trust (ACHT) and Akaroa Health Limited (AHL). ACHT is the Shareholder and representative of the community and the Shareholder of AHL which is the operating entity running the new health facility. Caretaker Trustees and Directors were appointed from 2014 to 2017 until fully ratified trustees and directors were appointed in 2017 after a fully advertised and independent appointment process was put in place. All these roles are subject to the usual rotational appointment process.
Will the community have on-going involvement in the new Akaroa Health Centre? Yes. A Community Health Advisory Group has been established to ensure we continue to meet the needs of the whole community.
Will the community have the opportunity to attend AGM’s? It is the intention of the ACHT to hold public community meetings on an annual basis to provide an annual report and financial reports.
Are ACHT and AHL charities? Yes. ACHT and AHL are approved charitable entities. AHL does have to earn more than we spend to sustain the charity – all the more reason to ensure we avoid burdening the charity with a debt from the outset. The facility will be managed to maximise bed utilisation and revenues. We know that funding through contracts will result in tight margins. The integrated services should assist this, along with there being no requirement to pay dividends or make profits.
Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you this Saturday.
Gordon Boxall, Chair, Akaroa Community Health Trust