Neurological Foundation - Chair of Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery Campaign reaches $2 million - Southland Times

April 2012

The Chair of Neurosurgery Fund has reached $2 million in 10 weeks – though only 4 per cent of the funding so far has come from Southland.

Southern neurosurgery clinical director Martin MacFarlane said this was despite the fact about 50 per cent of the patients coming through the neurosurgery unit at Dunedin were from Southland.

Dr MacFarlane said the country's first Chair in Neurosurgery – who would divide time equally between clinical work at Dunedin Hospital and research and teaching at the University of Otago – would help the Dunedin site build up strength. The targeted $3m from the campaign would fund the position – which is ongoing, regardless of decisions made by the government.

Shortlisted applicants – all from overseas – will be interviewed for the role in May.

Figures from the campaign show that Dunedin has contributed 75 per cent of the funding so far; 17 per cent had come from the rest of Otago. Four per cent had come from the rest of New Zealand and overseas and 4 per cent had come from Southland.

Mr MacFarlane said he hoped a Southland launch of the campaign would give funding a last boost to reach the target.

Since the campaign has been launched, the focus has largely been in Dunedin. Mr McFarlane said he was planning to give a talk in Invercargill at the end of May to give the Southland population a better understanding of the neurosurgery unit.

"Head injuries are only about five per cent. This affects a big spectrum ... and there is a big population down there."

Campaign committee chairman Brian McMahon said they were delighted to reach the two-thirds target well ahead of schedule.

"It's a measure of the confidence of the people of Otago and Southland and their wish to have excellent neurosurgical services available to them. We're confident we'll reach the $3 million mark – particularly with more projects, such as Dunedin's Mitre 10 Mega Brain House and Southland initiatives still to come."

The three-bedroom Brain House, built by certified builders will be auctioned by Harcourts in Dunedin's Mitre 10 Mega carpark on April 21 at 12.30pm.

Mr MacFarlane will be in Invercargill on May 22. Public donations can be made at any National Bank or ANZ branch.

By mail: Freepost 2064, Neurosurgery Campaign, PO Box 914, Dunedin, 9054. By internet banking: Neurosurgery campaign – 06 0287 0133301 05