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Autopsy Services in Gisborne One Step Closer

Friday 23 July 2004

Autopsy Services in Gisborne One Step Closer

Autopsy services are a step closer for Gisborne now that a mortuary upgrade is underway at Gisborne Hospital.

Pathologist Dr Ros Iversen said this will come as reassuring news for many local families.

“While we have been fortunate to have access to the Medlab Bay of Plenty autopsy service, separation from a body while it is transferred out of the district has been upsetting for some families.”

“With autopsy services provided locally the whole process will be smoother for families and whanau dealing with the grief associated with losing a loved one.”

Dr Iversen said autopsies are not currently performed at Gisborne Hospital as it needs to upgrade its facilities to comply with Occupational, Safety and Health regulations.

“The upgrade will ensure those regulations are met.”

Acting Clinical Support Services Manager Virginia Brind said Gisborne Hospital’s mortuary upgrade coincides with the availability of Dr Iversen to perform autopsies.

Following the departure of Gisborne Hospital’s only pathologist in 1999 an international shortage of pathologists meant a period of time elapsed before Tairawhiti District Health secured the employment of Dr Iversen.

“We are very pleased to have Dr Iversen on board and have been able to include her input into the design and upgrade of the mortuary.”

Dr Iversen said the mortuary upgrade includes installation of air conditioning, new flooring, ceiling and lighting. Dr Iversen said local consultation was done with Evans Funeral Services, Gisborne Coroner Allan Hall, and Maori representatives, prior to the mortuary upgrade.

“The current viewing facility for family, whanau and friends is undergoing renovation to improve comfort and safety.”

The autopsy service is expected to be up and running towards the end of the year, however, the coroner will still access some autopsy services in Tauranga if the Gisborne pathologist is not available.


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