Haere mai, Welcome

The Department of Anaesthesia at CDHB is a busy and vibrant department with service, training, and research interests in most of the major surgical sub-specialities. The Department is very enthusiastic about having trainees at all levels of training and is fully accredited by the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).

Medical kaimahi (staff) in our service

The Department consists of 84 Specialist Anaesthetists, 5 Medical Officers/Provisional Fellows, 26 Anaesthetic Registrars, 6 Senior House Officers, Anaesthetic Technicians, 2 Staff Nurses and 3 Secretarial/Administration staff.

All about our service

The Department of Anaesthesia is based at Christchurch Hospital and provides anaesthetic services to CDHB. The Department provides Anaesthetists for locations spread between Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch Women's Hospital (High-Risk Obstetrics) and Burwood Hospital (Orthopaedics & Plastics/Max-Fax). The annual workload consists of approximately 26,000 anaesthetics per year, of which approximately 40% are acute admissions.

Training in our service

All of the registrar posts are recognised as training posts by the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. Registrars based at Christchurch are also rotated to Intensive Care and Timaru Hospital on a 3-6 monthly basis. Trainees gain exposure to the full range of anaesthesia sub-specialties including:

  • Paediatric
  • Neurosurgery
  • Vascular and Interventional
  • Complex Head and Neck surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery

Registrars based at Christchurch can also expect rotations to Timaru and Christchurch ICU on a 3-6 month basis.


Canterbury DHB works closely with the Christchurch School of Medicine’s Department of Anaesthesia, sharing secretarial staff and office space. The Department has a strong academic focus and endeavours to create an environment where research is encouraged and supported. 

SMO / Kaimahi (staff) support

The registrars provide on-site out-of-hours cover at both Christchurch Women's Hospital and Christchurch Hospital. Their roles are predominantly in the operating theatre (or labour ward) but also assist with in-hospital resuscitation. The SHO provides on-site after-hours cover of the Post Anaesthesia Care Unit at Burwood and also some out of hours anaesthetic service at Christchurch Hospital. All out-of-hours work is strongly supported by senior medical staff providing SMO cover across all areas and sub-specialities.


Dr James Dalby-Ball
Rotational Supervisor South Island Scheme

Dr Ruth Brown
Supervisor of Training 

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