Neurosurgery to stay in Dunedin

[comment caption= What do you think of the decision?] The South Island neurosurgery service will continue to have centres in Dunedin and Christchurch but is facing some changes, Acting Director-General of Health Andrew Bridgman has announced.

The service will have an independent Governance Board chaired by one of the world's leading neurosurgeons Professor Andrew Kaye, the James Stewart Professor of Surgery and Head of Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne and the Director of Neurosurgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The board will be responsible for building one South Island neurosurgery service which will eventually have seven to eight neurosurgeons, with at least three in Dunedin.

Dunedin will have a heavy emphasis on academic neurosurgery, which involves both research and teaching, and the University will appoint and support a Professor of Neurosurgery and a Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery to be based here.

Christchurch will maintain at least four neurosurgeons with the opportunity to grow and develop as the service expands.

Mr Bridgman released the report and recommendations of the South Island Neurosurgery Expert Panel, which was appointed by his predecessor, Stephen McKernan, to advise him on a solution when the five South Island DHBs could not agree on the configuration of a South Island neurosurgery service.

The panel recommended a minimum of three neurosurgeons should be based in Dunedin, and that the South Island-wide service should comprise eight neurosurgeons once fully established.

Of Canterbury's bid for all of the South Island's neurosurgeons to be based at Christchurch Hospital, the panel said the DHB "grossly underestimated" the number of emergency cases which could strain the hospital's facilities.



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