Collaborative approach without parochialism urged

An appeal to Health Minister Tony Ryall and his ministry to show "statesman-like leadership" to resolve the "damaging" neurosurgery impasse has been issued by Dunedin Hospital senior medical staff.

Southland and Otago people will be the losers if Canterbury and Southern staff cannot find a way to collaborate on a two-site neurosurgery service, oncologist and Dunedin Hospital general medical staff chairman Associate Prof David Perez says.

In a letter to the Otago Daily Times, Prof Perez said medical staff acknowledged the need to have a strongly-based neurosurgery service across the South Island but believed this could be maintained by having two neurosurgeons in Dunedin working in "constructive collaboration" with their Christchurch counterparts.

Such a collaborative spirit seemed to be lacking.

"It is essential that health providers in New Zealand work collaboratively and without parochialism" to make the best use of scarce health funding and deliver services as close as possible to patients and their families, he said.

Other specialist services based in Dunedin and Christchurch hospitals worked co-operatively and shared staff for the advantage of all.

"There is no reason why a similar philosophy should not apply to neurosurgery. It will be a sad day for New Zealand if we cannot develop collaborative health networks."


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