11 Apr 2015

Dunedin post-mortem service 'unsustainable'

9:24 pm on 11 April 2015

A group of Dunedin pathologists says money has nothing to do with why they are considering quitting their contracts for coronial post-mortems.

The Ministry of Justice said it had been holding discussions with the pathologists and Southern Community Laboratories since late last year.

It said concerns were raised about a lack of remuneration for the work.

The pathologists say some want to retire or minimise their work schedules and they believed a Dunedin-based service was not sustainable given its volume of work.

A spokesperson, Dr Peter Fitzgerald, said the problem was that there was no plan for the service in Dunedin.

"The succession planning for this part of New Zealand hasn't been taken into account satisfactorily.

"Just being told 'just keep waiting and something will happen' hasn't really been how it's worked in the past, and we're not really confident that's how it will be in the future."