Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin says he has his "loins girded" and is ready to advocate for retention of neurosurgeons in Dunedin should that prove necessary.
The threats to Dunedin Hospital and consequently to Dunedin itself, the Dunedin School of Medicine and the people of the South keep recurring.
Emergency care for people in remote areas of Otago and Southland could be compromised if neurosurgery is offered only from Christchurch, Dunedin-based National list MP Michael Woodhouse says.
Almost a month after he was asked to urgently resolve the southern neurosurgery services row, Director-general of Health Stephen McKernan yesterday announced he will convene an expert panel to address the issue.
Southern District Health Board chairman Errol Millar will not be able to make one last plea for retention of neurosurgery services in Dunedin at the South Island district health board chairmen's meeting in Christchurch today because he will be at home in Ranfurly.
The battle over neurosurgery services in the South is expected to be placed in the hands of Director-general of Health Stephen McKernan next week.
Civic leaders have been invited to a meeting this Friday in Dunedin to discuss the future of neurosurgery services in the South.
A neurosurgeon has been on call to cover Dunedin Hospital at all times since it began relying on outside neurosurgeons at the beginning of last year, Southern District Health Board chief executive Brian Rousseau says.
Southern District Health Board members should speak out over neurosurgery services and have the courage to back their chief executive's bid to employ two neurosurgeons immediately, an Otago woman with recent experience of the service says.
The Southern District Health Board has tried to stay true to the process being followed to review neurosurgery services in the South without "selling ourselves short", chairman Errol Millar says.
If Southern District Health Board chief executive Brian Rousseau decides to appoint two neurosurgeons, the Director-general of Health Stephen McKernan does not have the statutory power to stop him.
The Southern District Health Board would be prepared to be the lead district health board for neurosurgery services offered in Christchurch and Dunedin.
Health Minister Tony Ryall hopes a decision on neurosurgery services in the South can be made within two months.
National health services improvement is not about tinkering with things or change for the sake of it, National Health Board director Chai Chuah says.
The possible loss of an outpatient clinic at Oamaru Hospital and $2 million extra cost for the Southern District Health Board were among concerns raised by southern MPs questioned about the neurosurgery services impasse.
The eight mayors within the Southern District Health Board region are hoping their joint declaration supporting the retention of neurosurgery services in Dunedin will have some clout.
If you think you or your loved ones will never need emergency neurosurgery, and the battle to retain the service in Dunedin does not affect you, think again.
Two clinicians and a consumer representative make up the expert panel considering the future of neurosurgery in the South.
Tony Gloag has a message for all Otago families - support Dunedin Hospital's resident neurosurgical unit because you may need it.
Channel 9's Charlotte Young is used to being at arm's length from the subjects covered in the programmes she produces, but that will not be the case when Dunedin Diary goes to air tonight.