Neurological Foundation - Chair of Neurosurgery

Funds for neurosurgery jump in the South

August 2012

Funds for neurosurgery chair jump


Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012

Southland contributions to the Chair in Neurosurgery Campaign jumped from less than $4000 for the month of April to more than $50,000 for the month of June, while a $150,000 donation from Invercargill this week further reflects the region's support of the Dunedin unit.

July figures for Southland weren't available yesterday, but the overall campaign total was at $2,516,258.80.

The goal is to have $3 million by Christmas.

Invercargill Licensing Trust general manager Greg Mulvey said yesterday the ILT and the ILT Foundation donation of $150,000 to special equipment in the Dunedin unit followed a long history of giving to specific medical needs in Southland.

Generally the ILT group was restricted to allocating grants within its territory, Mr Mulvey said, but it was clear the donation to the campaign - the region's largest so far - would benefit Invercargill patients.

Throughout the campaign Southern neurosurgery clinical director Martin MacFarlane has said that Southlanders made up about 50 per cent of the cases seen by both the Dunedin and Christchurch nodes of the South Island neurosurgical service. However, donations from the Southland region to the campaign have been overshadowed by Dunedin city.

When donations were first traced, numbers showed 75 per cent of the $2 million raised after the first 10 weeks came from Dunedin city, while Southland as a region had given 4 per cent.

After two months of touring Lion Clubs, community and church groups, hosting information afternoons around Southland, and organising envelope appeals through the Southland Times and Otago Daily Times, campaign manager Irene Mosley said she had seen a turnaround.

Yesterday, Mrs Mosley said numbers showed 54 per cent of the funds for June had come from Southland.

"It's been amazing going around Otago and Southland and seeing what they do. Some of these are groups that don't have much but they give at the level that they can."

The ILT group donation was going to specific medical equipment, not the endowment fund, so did not count towards the $3m target, she said.

The funding for stereotactic equipment purchased with ILT group funds would be used to treat lesions and tumours in the neurosurgery node at Dunedin.

Mr Mulvey said giving the money to specialist medical equipment was a "safer path" for the trust, he said.

"We were attracted to meeting that specific need . . . we always aim to listen to the community and it is clear the project to fund neurosurgery in the South is a priority."