The recent controversy over the future of neurosurgery services in Otago-Southland highlights the need to make systematic "health impact assessments" before key policy decisions are made, University of Otago Prof Richard Morgan says.
Otago Daily Times editor Murray Kirkness welcomes news Dunedin will retain neurosurgical services, and says The South should feel proud.
A mood of cautious optimism abides as Otago and Southland people await this morning's announcement from Acting Director-general of Health Andrew Bridgman about the future of neurosurgery.
Southland and Otago people are in celebration mode following today's Ministry of Health's decision to retain neurosurgery services in both Christchurch and Dunedin.
A third of the 2256 submissions to the expert panel looking at neurosurgery services in the South expressed concern about having to travel to Christchurch for neurosurgery.
Much of the detail in the expert panel's report on South Island neurosurgery imparts challenges for the future of our public health services.
The South Island Neurosurgical Service expert panel's call for a review of patient-recovery and related patient-transport services across the island has drawn no comment at this stage from Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust chairman Ross Black.
The process used to resolve the South Island neurosurgery impasse is the "way of the future", Health Minister Tony Ryall says.
Details of the cost of revamping the South Island neurosurgery service are hazy, but it is not expected it will reach the $3.1 million extra it would have cost to set up a one-site model in Christchurch.
The disagreement with Christchurch over neurosurgery was a "blessing in disguise" as it led to restoring lapsed ties with the University of Otago, the former head of Dunedin Hospital neurosurgery, Sam Bishara, says.
Wakatipu Health Trust executive officer Maria Cole says the decision to retain neurosurgery services in Dunedin and Christchurch is "overwhelmingly positive for the region".
Leading Melbourne neurosurgeon and academic Prof Andrew Kaye is relaxed about being the man in the hot seat as the chairman of the governance board to establish the new-look South Island neurosurgery service.
Surgeons "overstepped" the mark in advocating a Christchurch-only service, Dunedin Hospital intensive care clinical leader Mike Hunter said yesterday, commenting on the announcement Dunedin will keep neurosurgery.
Pam Adams abandoned her privacy to tell southerners about the emergency neurosurgery that saved son George Clarke's life - and yesterday, she said the effort was worth it.
Anxious neurosurgery campaign supporters had to overcome a technical glitch yesterday when the audio link between Dunedin and Wellington crashed before the good news about neurosurgery could be relayed.
Acting Director-general of Health Andrew Bridgman says he is not expecting people to be "tossing toys out of the cot" over the radical changes announced yesterday to neurosurgery services in the South.
It was delight not doom for Dunedin neurosurgery campaigners yesterday with the news the service in the city will be enhanced rather than dropped.
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 draft report on neurosurgery services sent to district health boards for checking did not contain the South Island Neurosurgical Service expert panel's recommendations.
The South Island Neurosurgical Service expert panel hopes to deliver its final report to acting Director-general of Health Andrew Bridgman before the end of this week, panel chairwoman Anne Kolbe says.