20 Nov 2012

Help on way for independent doctor

7:16 am on 20 November 2012

More Maori doctors are coming to work at the Far North's newest health clinic from next year.

Lance O'Sullivan, of Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi, opened his Te Kohanga Whakaora surgery at Kaitaia hospital on Monday.

He fell out with his former employer Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika after being warned not to make house visits and treat patients who could not pay and later resigned.

Dr O'Sullivan says while he is going it alone at the moment, he plans to bring on extra staff to help him in his mission to offer affordable health treatment - especially for people who are struggling financially.

He already expects one young Maori woman doctor who has whakapapa links to the Far North arriving in February next year to work with him at the clinic.

Dr O'Sullivan says it is unprecedented in Kaitaia to have two Maori doctors working in the community serving their people.

He says local people will feel more comfortable having Maori doctors and nurses who also understand their cultural needs.

Te Kohanga Whakaora clinic aims to have more Maori GPs working there within the next five years.