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A second permanent neurosurgeon appointment to the Dunedin hub of the South Island Neurosurgery Service may not be far away.
Service implementation manager Joy Farley said an offer had been made to "a very suitable candidate" from the United Kingdom for the position, which will combine clinical work with a role as a senior lecturer at the University of Otago.
This week, the service announced the appointment of neurosurgeon Mr Ahmad Taha to the first permanent position. He had been serving as a locum in Dunedin since July last year.
The third position for the Dunedin hub in the revamped service will be a professor of neurosurgery, but as the quest to occupy that position could take some years, a fixed-term appointment will be made to a neurosurgeon in the meantime.
Dunedin Hospital service manager for surgery Helen Williams said there was a potential applicant for that fixed-term position, although there was still some way to go in the process.
Another locum is to be appointed on a six-month contract from the end of November.
Ms Williams said it was hoped that from May next year there would be "three people on the ground".
A second registrar in neurosurgery has already been appointed and is expected to start in October.