By the time you read this, the expert panel on neurology services in the South will have heard the views of the local population.

The meeting today at Stadium Southland is the culmination of a lot of effort by the Otago and Southland communities to have a say in the final outcome.

I was pleased to be able to accept a 45,000 signature petition last week calling for the retention of neurosurgery services at Dunedin Hospital.

I was also heartened by the comments of the Minister of Health Tony Ryall that he would take a lot of convincing that there shouldn’t be neurosurgery services for Otago and Southland people.

We now have to wait for the final recommendation of the panel.  But thanks to you, it won’t be an arbitrary decision.