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Attendance Doubles At Pacific Island Health Clinic

Tuesday 18 March 2008

Paediatrician acknowledged for improving the Pacific Island community's uptake of health services

Attendance at the weekly Pacific Island health clinic in Invercargill has more than doubled since community paediatrician, Dr David Clow joined the clinic, Pacific Island Advisory and Cultural Trust spokesperson, Elsie Freeman said today.

Numbers of attendees have increased from around 10-15 people per clinic to 30-35 people in the past four months that Dr Clow has attended the weekly health clinic.

"This is an excellent health outcome for our Pacific Island community and has meant that we have been able to help identify health problems much earlier on, rather than waiting for a health crisis or preventable hospital admission," Mrs Freeman said.

Dr Clow has a strong affiliation with Pacific Island people having worked in Tonga for some years during the 1980s. Following a chance meeting with Ms Freeman late last year, Dr Clow was invited to come along to the clinic to share his expertise and provide a paediatric focus for families.

"What began as an opportunity for children to be seen by a Paediatrician, has resulted in even more of the Pacific Island community coming forward to see a nurse specialist and discuss their health issues while at the clinic."

"This reflects the strong rapport Dr Clow has developed with the Pacifika community and which has helped people to connect with the clinic," Mrs Freeman said.

Dr Clow has been working with SDHB on a fixed term contract and is due to finish late March.

"The Trust is now working with the local PHO to look at funding to secure a doctor to attend future clinics, following Dr Clow's departure," Mrs Freeman said.

To celebrate Dr Clow's contribution to the Pacific Island community, a farewell will take place half way through his last clinic today, between 12.30pm-1.30pm.

The Pacific Island health clinic is a joint initiative between the Trust and SDHB and is held every Tuesday 10am-2pm at the Pacific Island Cultural and Advisory Trust rooms, upstairs at 122 Esk Street Invercargill. Call (03) 214 6089 for more information or to make an appointment.


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