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Southerners To Take Petition To Government

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Southerners To Take Petition To Government

Wellington, Aug 25 NZPA - Over 40,000 people have signed a petition seeking to retain neurosurgery services in Dunedin and Christchurch.

The petition, signed by 43,227 people, would be presented today at Parliament to Deputy Prime Minister and Clutha Southland MP Bill English, the Otago Daily Times reported.

Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin, Invercargill deputy mayor Neil Boniface, Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Cairns and Clutha Mayor Juno Hayes with Otago Daily Times editor Murray Kirkness and Southland Times editor Fred Tulett would attend.

Previous protests have been held over the issue.

The five South Island district health boards (DHBs) have agreed they would be best served by one DHB providing neurosurgery. That means one of the current providers -- Dunedin or Christchurch -- would have to give up its services.

An expert panel has been set up to consider the issues and will report to the Director General of Health in October.

Health Minister Tony Ryall previously said South Island DHBs had agreed they needed a "whole of South Island" neurological service. However, they could not agree on how that would work and the panel was set up.

Neurosurgery is the medical speciality concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.

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