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Step Towards Clinical Services for Otago Southland

Formal Review Another Step Towards Regional Clinical Services for Otago and Southland

Otago and Southland District Health Boards (DHBs) have moved another step towards the establishment of regional clinical services across Otago and Southland with the announcement of a joint Otago/Southland DHB formal review of Ophthalmology, Urology, Cardiology and Nephrology services, to be commenced on 15 April 05.

Dr Gershu Paul and Brian Rousseau, Chief Executive Officers for Southland and Otago DHBs, made the announcement following approval by the two Boards at their respective April 05 meetings to proceed with the formal review, with the explicit intent of establishing regional clinical services across the two regions.

“Maintaining safe sustainability of certain clinical services in both Otago and Southland is becoming increasingly challenging, particularly for the smaller clinical sub-specialties,” Dr Paul said.

“Both Boards have recognised that establishment of regional clinical services in some areas may provide a solution to many of these challenges. The Boards have now agreed to proceed with formal review of the four services, with a view to determining a path towards the development of sustainable regional services, “ Mr Rousseau said.

The CEOs said that guiding principles would need to be established and agreed as a requirement of the way forward.

“Whilst some of these principles are implicit, e.g. patients should where possible receive treatment at the hospital closest to their homes, clinical sustainability for an enhanced service for our communities; other principles will need to be developed as part of the review process, e.g. how will a regional clinical service be costed, what role changes will be necessary, how the services will be configured and funded, etc,” Dr Paul said.

“Should the Otago and Southland DHBs progress with the regionalisation of services, it will result in significant changes in role and working conditions for most clinicians involved. As such, a formal process will be adopted and it is planned that all staff and stakeholders will be invited to participate in each review,” Mr Rousseau said.

The CEOs indicated that it would be too complex to review all four services at once and so the formal review would commence with Ophthalmology and then proceed to Cardiology, Nephrology and Urology services.

“We intend the recommendation of the review will be presented to the two Boards to make a decision at their respective June 05 meetings,” Mr Rousseau said.


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