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Pāsifika GP recognised for outstanding contribution

Media release

26 July 2018

Pāsifika GP recognised for outstanding contribution

Samoan GP Alainuanua Tupai will be recognised for her outstanding contribution to general practice at the forthcoming annual conference of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Dr Tupai, who has worked with Bader Drive Doctors in Mangere for the last 16 years, will be one of only two New Zealand GPs to receive a prestigious Community Service Medal at the 26-29 July event at Auckland’s Aotea Centre.

Clinical Leader at the practice for the last 10 years, Dr Tupai is a firm believer that community participation is key to health management improvements. As the Clinical Lead for the Alliance Health Plus PHO, and as part of the Counties Manukau Clinical Leadership Group, she is in an excellent position to exercise this vision.

At the same conference, Fijian-Indian GP Shabrina Hussein of Westview Medical Centre in Glen Eden, will be recognised as a new Fellow of the College.

Fellowship is the culmination of at least 11 years’ work, which typically includes six years’ medical study, two years’ pre-vocational training and three years completing the College’s General Practice Education Programme (GPEP).

The College is committed to supporting the GP workforce in improving health outcomes for Pāsifika communities in New Zealand. Its Pacific Chapter is made up of members who identify as Pāsifika and the group also welcomes non-Pāsifika doctors serving communities with large Pacific populations, or those with an interest in Pacific health issues.

Chapter Chair Dr Api Talemaitoga is proud of the work of these two GPs and on behalf of the Pacific Chapter membership, offers heartfelt congratulations to both Drs Tupai and Hussein.

“The Chapter appreciates the role-modelling these two women GPs show in attaining Fellowship (Dr Hussein) and in her advocacy work with the Pacific communities in Mangere, Auckland (Dr Tupai),” says Dr Talemaitoga.

“The Chapter will continue to support all Pacific GPs in attaining their Fellowship qualifications as they continue to work with these under-served communities.”

College President Dr Tim Malloy adds: “Congratulations to both Dr Tupai and Dr Hussein.

“We hope their achievements can help in the goal of attracting more Pāsifika doctors into general practice, to play a vital role in the health of their communities.”

Background The College has close ties with its Pacific neighbours, including a reciprocal arrangement with the Cook Islands Ministry of Health for the training of new GPs.

The programme provides vocational training and continuing medical education for Cook Islands doctors, but it also has benefits for the New Zealand health system and New Zealand patients.

Trainees are qualified doctors who undertake some of their training in hard-to-staff New Zealand rural hospitals and rural general practice settings in places like Hokianga and Wellsford. Feedback on the programme has been extremely positive and the College is looking into the feasibility of setting up similar programmes in Samoa and Tonga.

Community Service Medals are awarded to College Members and Fellows who have made an outstanding contribution to general practice through work in their communities.


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