The National Government is proposing to take neurosurgery away from Dunedin.
It is a backwards move that is likely to endanger lives and impact on the whole Dunedin community.
Furthermore, removal of neurosurgery from the hospital is estimated to cost our health board $2 million more every year because the DHB would be expected to continue to meet patient transportation and healthcare costs (in Christchurch!) as well as the additional cost of providing accommodation for families. Other health services in Dunedin would need to be cut to meet the additional costs. This is crazy.
There are likely to be downstream effects of these proposed cuts to health services in Dunedin.
I have listened to University representatives describe how cuts to neurosurgery in Dunedin will have wider impacts in terms of neurology, oncology, anaesthetics and general surgery. The University will struggle to appoint and retain clinical academic staff if neurological surgery is no longer provided at the hospital. The viability of the Medical School and its health sciences division will be undermined. This will lead to cuts in other services at the Hospital in the future.
Keeping neurosurgical services in Dunedin is something all Otago residents can support. I encourage you to write to the Director-General of Health to voice your concern. The consequences would be tragic if silence on this matter was mistaken for assent.
Director General of Health
PO Box 5013