28 Jul 2016

Unique contribution of five female Pasifika doctors to be honoured

2:13 pm on 28 July 2016

The Pasifika Medical Association says the honouring of five female doctors is recognition of the unique contribution they are making to healthcare in New Zealand.

Five female Pasifika doctors will be honoured as Fellows of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners this weekend.

Association chief executive Debbie Sorenson said fewer than 20 female Pasifika doctors had received the honour.

She said it was important to have doctors who understood Pasifika communities, which tended to live in lower income areas, had large extended families, and high rates of obesity, diabetes and cancer.

"Particularly for women, being able to go and see a doctor that looks like you and understands your life and what you're facing makes it a whole lot easier to develop a relationship and then work out what is my health plan to make sure that I can keep myself well, how can I keep my family well."

Debbie Sorenson said she hoped the honours would inspire the next generation of Pacific doctors and nurses.