Maori GP’s resignation causes consternation

(Radio New Zealand) A Kaitaia pharmacist says the Maori GP who has resigned from the local iwi health provider is highly regarded by other health professionals in the region.
Dr Lance O’Sullivan – who has been outspoken about poverty, housing and the unmet health needs of Maori – has left his job with Te Hauora o Te Hiku o Te Ika which has caused consternation in the community.

While he is unable to comment because of contract constraints, iwi sources say Dr O’Sullivan could not accept Te Hauora’s management policy to turn away patients who could not pay.
But Eric Shackleton, who owns the Kaitaia pharmacy, says it is not unusual in the Far North to see patients who can not pay.

He says Dr O’Sullivan is a great asset to the community and it is hoped he will stay in the Far North.

Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand


(11) Comments

  1. Atarangi Muru

    Oh what an awesome opportunity to look at 'doing' health in a very different way. Instead of using providers such as mentioned above, who have numbers to collect to make them a viable practice, how about going back to our cupboards. Health starts with what we eat, whether we are moving, how we think - positive / negative. We have so many ways to begin to revolutionise what we do, how we do it. Someone like this awesome Doctor would be well spent using his time retraining people. Food was once our rongoaa, gardening was our way of being fit and mobile as well as giving us food. We shared as a community, all that we grew, fished, hunted, still goes on I know but people aren't as giving any more because their own needs have increased. I can see another way to look at this whole situation, of course it's only my insignificant thought, but huge possibilities abound. And maybe I've got my rose coloured glasses on again.

  2. Kevin John Owen

    Maybe it's time to introduce more self help programs into the north as there will never be enough doctors to go around as they dwindle. What causes the mind to depart from rational thought and behaviour Kevin Owen Psychosomatic Healing Handling Trauma With Advanced Psychotherapy Handling the stress related to all illness. With a reduction in Mental and Physical Stress comes an improvement in health.

  3. willy rapihana

    Whats wrong with Te Hauora, This doctor is a rare breed in that he refuses to turn away patients who cannot pay, simply doing what he has trained to do, So whats the problem? Is this bureaucratic "HUMBUG"

  4. Te Taniwhanui

    It's a sad day when a Maori Health Provider turns away people who cannot afford to pay (read low income and majority Maori)! Te Hauora, new health indeed seems the old user pay model to me! Where is the manakitanga me te kaitiakitanga mauri, wairua me ora? Integrity plus to Lance O'Sullivan our health system needs more this type of health professional.

  5. Julia Brown

    What the outcome we do hope that Lance O'sullivan stays in the far north. Could'nt praise the man more for his committment to us people in Te Hapua, Hold on to him Muriwhenua a very rare taonga that is hard to come by. Mauri ora.

  6. Cita Tane

    I'd like to let Dr O'Sullivan know that all our services in Hokianga Health are free... and we're looking for GP's. Come visit us ehoa, take the ferry from Kohukohu and we're at the Rawene hospital. Our kaupapa for over one hundred years has been free healthcare for the people of the Hokianga and we still maintain that.

  7. Maria Fuller

    When will it end?Has Te Hauora sold out to the Government money machine?Or are they afraid their status will be compromised blah blah blah...At least Dr O'sullivan is not bought by the system.Hope he can sustain it.Hope the iwi whoeva they are will support him.

  8. Mark Derick Kohai

    So much for paying taxes,it is up to the State to protect and assist welfare and taking care of New Zealanders, not the Hauora. Have money to go globe trotting has the P.M it is money best spent looking after tax paying voters.

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