A stopgap upgrade of parts of rundown Palmerston North Hospital is proceeding slowly, reaching the stage of doing a developed design.
The $26 million project aims to expand surgical and related services in operating theatres that are old and too cramped.
It was announced in January 2020 as part of a $300m injection to hospital projects nationwide.
Architects came up with a preliminary design last month.
Midcentral District Health Board said funding had been approved, the project was within budget and it was working on finding builders.
The aim is to end up with nine operating theatres compared with seven now; four procedure rooms instead of just two; and to set up a new cardiac lab.
The new facilities would open in phases from late 2022.