Neurosurgery patients and families gave pointed advice to the South Island neurosurgery expert panel last night as they shared poignant stories of their experiences.
The Government was aware there would be "implications" if the outcome of the neurosurgery process upset people, Prime Minister John Key said in Dunedin yesterday.
Regional political pressure should not be allowed to limit the sustainable development of acute surgical services in regions like Otago and Southland, the chairman of the New Zealand board of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons said.
Some Canterbury health professionals have been actively undermining Dunedin's neurosurgery service, Dunedin Hospital's clinical leader of intensive care, Mike Hunter, says.
Up to 10,000 marched through central Dunedin at lunchtime today protesting the possible loss of neurosurgery services.
Five more people will die a year - and the same number will be severely brain-damaged and need permanent care - if the South loses neurosurgery, a former Dunedin Hospital intensive-care director predicts.
The Government would be "politically unwise" not to heed the voices of the thousands of protesters who turned out in Dunedin fighting to keep neurosurgery in the city, southern clinical health leader Richard Bunton says.
Campaigners for the retention of neurosurgery services in Dunedin are hoping for a good turnout at this evening's public meeting in the Dunedin Town Hall to be attended by the panel looking into the future of the service.
The impartiality of the Australian neurosurgeon who will help decide the future configuration of neurosurgery in the South Island has been called into question by a Dunedin Hospital clinical leader.
Southern National MPs have been bending the ear of Health Minister Tony Ryall this week over neurosurgery services, as mail urging the retention of the Dunedin service floods in.
The recent case of a 46-year-old woman patient who "definitely" would have died without acute neurosurgery at Dunedin Hospital features in a hard-hitting letter from senior clinicians on the dispute over the service's future.
Dunedin people will have the chance to hear directly from the panel reviewing neurosurgery services in the south at a public meeting in the Dunedin Town Hall on Monday evening at 5.30 pm. In this meeting preview, health reporter Elspeth McLean discusses the panel's approach with chairwoman Anne Kolbe.
A southern mayoral delegation will put its case to the neurosurgery panel on Tuesday.
A locum neurosurgeon with a six-month contract arrived in Dunedin last month and another is expected at the end of August.
All too often, it is the shortcomings of the young that grab our attention - and with this come expressions of displeasure, denigration, despair - when there is so much about their achievements to celebrate.
If politicians harboured any confusion over the South's views on neurosurgery services, by lunchtime yesterday such doubts should have been dispelled.
Acting Director-general of Health Andrew Bridgman says his right to make a final decision on the neurosurgery row is not related to legislation.
Members of the public will have the chance to share their views on the future of neurosurgery in the South with the expert panel at two public meetings in the South next week.