Cost of panel $78,625

The South Island neurosurgery service expert panel set up last year to sort out the impasse over the service cost $78,625, the National Health Board says.

The board has finally released the costs for the three-person panel, led by Associate Prof Anne Kolbe, which spent about three and a-half months on its work following its appointment a year ago.

The bulk of the cost was for members' fees and expenses, which totalled $43,400.

Prof Kolbe was paid $655 a day for her work, while Adelaide neurosurgeon Glenn McCulloch and consumer representative David Russell each qualified for a $415-a-day payment.

These payments included both those days when they were involved with meetings and those when they were working on panel business at their various locations.

Travel costs and accommodation for the group cost $23,625, catering $500 and venue hire, equipment and advertising a further $11,100.

The National Health Board staff costs have not been included in the figure.

Deputy national director Michael Hundleby said the costs for the panel and the neurosurgery governance board, set up to oversee the introduction of the panel recommendations, are being met from the board's overall budget.

The estimated annual budget for the governance board, chaired by Melbourne neurosurgeon and academic Prof Andrew Kaye, is $71,500.

This figure covers $30,000 governance fees, $40,000 travel and accommodation and $1500 catering.

No explanation about the length of time taken to supply the various costs was given in the information from Mr Hundleby, although the panel costs request dates back to last year.

Fees paid to individual members of the governance board were not included in the information provided.


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