Better-informed debate is needed about pressing health and other issues including how South Island neurosurgical services should be organised, a former government statistician says.
The topic came up in a wide-ranging debate at the Nurses Organisation's annual conference in Wellington on Thursday.
Len Cook, now president of the Institute of Public Administration, was part of a debate at the conference.
Mr Cook says that in health and other areas, local decisions may not provide the best services for a population of 4.4 million people.
Economist and author about the health system, Gareth Morgan, was also part of the debate.
He said evidence-based decisions, rather than political decisions, and transparency are needed in the health sector.