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Defence Force Provides Assistance to Cook Islands

7 June 2008 Media Statement

New Zealand Defence Force Provides Medical Assistance to Cook Islands

A 40-strong contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) medics, with a mission to provide health support to the people of the Cook Islands, will deploy to the Cooks today by C-130 Hercules under Exercise Tropic Twilight, Defence Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“For the next two weeks the contingent, which includes 12 civilian volunteer health specialists, will conduct at least 50 surgical cases at Rarotonga Public Hospital, four Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses and two First Aid courses for hospital and trainee staff.

“Defence Force dentists will visit local school students to provide treatment and an environmental health survey will be undertaken at Rarotonga Public Hospital.

“NZAID will provide funding for transport from outlying islands for patients requiring surgery in Rarotonga as well as funding all medical supplies relating to the treatments,” Mr Goff said.

“It is vital that the Defence Force maintains its ability to deploy skilled medics, and this exercise enables the NZDF and our civilian volunteer health specialists to add to their experience. It’s great that in conjunction with NZAID, we are able to carry out much needed surgery and training for Cook Islanders,” Mr Goff said.

The contingent returns on Sunday 22 June.


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