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NZ may get higher neurosurgery ranking

11 July 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

New Zealanders may be given priority to be accepted for neurosurgery training to help address a chronic shortage of local neurosurgeons, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons says.

Just 13% of New Zealand-based applicants for neurosurgery training in the past six years have been accepted.

The shortage of neurosurgeons in New Zealand has been highlighted by the Southern District Health Board’s attempts to fill vacancies at Dunedin Hospital which have left Ahmad Taha as the facility’s sole neurosurgeon.

The SDHB drew up a neurosurgery contingency plan to consider how to provide after-hours cover for Mr Taha, in which it said ”no New Zealanders have been trained as neurosurgeons locally in recent years”.

The lack of trained New Zealand neurosurgeons made recruitment ”challenging”, the SDHB said.

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