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Surgeon’s Resignation Devastating Blow For Timaru

“Surgeon’s Resignation Devastating Blow For Timaru Hospital; House Of Cards Effect”

“The resignation of experienced general surgeon Neil Harding-Roberts is a devastating blow for the future of Timaru Hospital leaving it sitting like a ‘house of cards’,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, today.

“Dr Neil Harding-Roberts is a dedicated and well regarded specialist surgeon who had many years of service left in South Canterbury’s public health system. But he has resigned after frustration with managerial behaviour that has been building up for years. The current industrial dispute is only one of many factors that have force him to resign.”

“A hospital can’t provide a safe specialist surgical service with only one or two permanently employed surgeons for too long. It will also be extremely difficult to recruit a permanent replacement for Dr Harding-Roberts given the combined effect of international shortages and the deplorable state of affairs at the South Canterbury District Health Board.”

“But the implications are much wider than surgery. Other surgeons and also non-surgical specialists such as physicians will see the writing on the wall for the future of a public hospital that can’t maintain a viable permanent surgical service. It will make it impossible to recruit new staff and increasingly more difficult to retain currently employed senior doctors.”

“The ball is now firmly in the court of the South Canterbury Board. It can either continue to condone the managerial style carried out in its name, and allow the ‘House of Cards’ that Timaru Hospital has become to collapse, or it can end forthwith this destructive behaviour,” concluded Mr Powell.

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