New Medical Centre an important asset for Kawerau community

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Addressing serious health issues and needs spurred the opening of the Kawerau Medical Centre today. In attendance to celebrate the occasion was the Minister of Health Tony Ryall and New Zealander of the Year, Dr Lance O'Sullivan.

Marking a new chapter in history for Kawerau, the Medical Centre will provide another avenue of a healthier lifestyle for families in Kawerau.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan congratulated staff saying,“This is a great day for Emily and her family, for us all as well.”

Māori families make up a large proportion of the total population of Kawerau, which is why many believe there is a need for a centre to cater to the specific health demands here.

Kawerau already has a medical centre which houses six doctors, however due to a backlogue of patients with some waiting up to two weeks to be seen it is hoped another medical centre will relieve the pressure. 

Doctor Emily Hermanson says,“It's gonna be a great asset to Kawerau to have another general practice here.”

A particular point of difference for this medical centre is a dedicated Māori doctor and Māori pharmacy catering to a large proportion of patients.

While Dr Lance O’Sullivan was proud of the efforts he did outline the road ahead would not be an easy one, “Good luck. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs in the future because of the high health demands in this community, and that will be a huge issue for Māori doctors.”