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If the proposed solution on neurosurgery services in the South involves a significant change, public consultation would be needed, Southern District Health Board chairman Errol Millar says.
He made the comment at the board's monthly meeting in Invercargill on Thursday after his deputy Paul Menzies reported on attending the recent meeting of South Island board chairmen.
Mr Menzies said the meeting had been advised the Ministry of Health would be putting together a panel to look at the options for the South, including input from "high-level clinicians from Australia".
The Canterbury and Southern District Health Boards cannot agree on the configuration of the regional service.
Canterbury wants all six neurosurgeons in Christchurch and Southern advocates having two living in Dunedin.
Chief executive Brian Rousseau said the matter of community consultation on the issue would depend on what changes were proposed.