Registrar solution at Wairau

Registrars will be appointed to Wairau Hospital for the first time following a review into surgical services across Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.

The mid-grade doctors are effectively "doctors in training" who had qualified in basic training and were focused on their chosen speciality.

Nelson Marlborough has a growing but ageing population and increasing services at Wairau is necessary to help manage that growth.

The independent top of the south review into the future of general medicine, orthopaedic and general surgery recommended 10 registrars be phased in to medicine at Nelson and Wairau over the next three to four years.

Board chief executive Chris Fleming said the recommendation would be implemented in incremental steps.

Introducing registrars would free up consultant time, and improve the standard of care and provision of services, he said.

One of the key themes of the review was introducing more junior doctors to help the evolution of hospital services, Fleming said.

Large metropolitan hospitals usually have three clinical layers including house surgeons, registrars and consultants.

Hospital services at Nelson and Wairau have been consultant-led, however Nelson Hospital was too big to cope such a service, he said.

"It became clear with our population growth we have to move forward and introduce a registrar layer. The report says to start in medicine. I hope it would provide a good opportunity to strengthen the robustness of services across Nelson and Wairau.

"It is also a great way of contracting a future work force," he said.

"When junior doctors finish their appropriate training, they tend to do a fellowship overseas.

"When they choose to set up for a long-term career hopefully they will remember their Nelson Marlborough experience and will want to practice here."

Fleming could not stay how many registrars would be based in Nelson and Wairau.

There will be no additional funding to bring in registrars.