Dr Samantha Murton wins College Presidential election
16 November 2018
Dr Samantha Murton, a GP from Wellington, has been elected President of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (the College), winning the Presidential election by a clear margin.
Dr Murton is just the third female GP to become President in the College’s 45-year history.
The election was sparked by former-President Dr Tim Malloy’s resignation in August, due to health issues. Dr Malloy had been College President since 2012.
Dr Murton ran against four other candidates: Dr Bryan Betty from Wellington, Dr Aniva Lawrence and Dr Chris Reid both from Northland, and Dr Mark Peterson from Hawkes Bay.
With 1,772 votes cast (38% of eligible
voters), this election attracted the highest voter turnout
since the College started online voting in 2013.
Dr Murton says she is delighted and humbled with the results, and is looking forward to representing members’ views, helping set strategic priorities for the College, and being the public representative of New Zealand’s GP workforce.
“Primary health care is growing in importance, particularly as New Zealand’s population grows and ages. I am convinced that expert general practice is pivotal to optimising care for our patients as it adapts to stay at the forefront of health care in New Zealand. We need to put some creative thought and energy into how we, as expert generalists, instigate and champion that change,” says Dr Murton.
“Our upcoming doctors and potential GPs are a diverse group and this makes them better able to support patients in all their diversity. It’s important our GPs are able to provide care that is equitable, appropriate, and delivered in a timely fashion.
“The College has a role to play supporting, encouraging and sustaining its members and new GPs in their work.”
Next week Dr Murton will speak with College management and Board members to gain an understanding of current operational issues.