No Right Turn tells us to get out to the picket lines.
The lesson in this is that protest works. If you get enough people to scream loudly enough, the government has to listen, if only out of fear for their electoral future. Remember that next time they do something you don’t like, and organise!
Trouble is that, protest doesn’t really work that well. And this isn’t a good example.
The panel recommended a minimum of three neurosurgeons should be based in Dunedin, and that the South Island-wide service should comprise eight neurosurgeons once fully established.
Of Canterbury’s bid for all of the South Island’s neurosurgeons to be based at Christchurch Hospital, the panel said the DHB “grossly underestimated” the number of emergency cases which could strain the hospital’s facilities.
Fact is, there was never any proposal from the panel to remove facilities from Dunedin. Canterbury wanted to move the services there, but the protests happened before the panel even met (much to their bemusement). The protests were about something that might possibly happen, but there was never any sort of official suggestion that that outcome was likely.
In fact Tim Shadbolt was on the news just now stating that the protesters wanted 2 neurosurgeons, and got 3. That alone strongly suggests that the protest had little influence.
From what I’ve read, one of the main reasons for this is that New Zealand’s top medical school is based in Dunedin, a consideration that any number of protests was never going to change.
In fact I recon in hindsight the protesters should actually feel quite foolish. They should have waited to today, and responded to the report if it was unfavorable. It wasn’t, so I would argue that no protests were ever necessary in the first place.