Strong in­ter­est in Maori health

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Toko­roa wel­comes two new med­i­cal ex­perts into the fold, with Doc­tor Thai Lee from the United States and nurse prac­ti­tioner Josephine Dav­isWheaton from North­land.

Dr Lee, who has taken over Dr Fred Simp­son’s for­mer prac­tice, is en­joy­ing his new role.

‘‘ I have a keen in­ter­est in Maori cul­ture and health, granted this sparked from watch­ing the Whale Rider in the States when I was a teen.’’

Dr Lee is of South East Asian her­itage and has taken a keen in­ter­est in the health care of in­dige­nous cul­tures.

‘‘I no­ticed that in the States the South East Asian pop­u­la­tion had a high rate of di­a­betes. I did re­search on this topic which re­vealed that those with the dis­ease were not told why they needed to care about their health or change their diet. I want to im­merse my­self in the health of Maori be­cause I see strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties with the same dis­eases af­fect­ing the Maori peo­ple,’’ he said.

The US is very dis­ease fo­cused whereas New Zealand is more holis­tic, Dr Lee said. ‘‘ I’m here to ob­serve and learn about medicine in New Zealand and to take the knowl­edge with me.’’

Nurse prac­ti­tioner Mrs Dav­isWheaton is one of few prac­tis­ing the pro­fes­sion in New Zealand. A nurse prac­ti­tioner is a nurse who has achieved a clin­i­cal masters qual­i­fi­ca­tion and has been recog­nised by the nurs­ing coun­cil to prac­tice at an ad­vanced level. This means Mrs Dav­isWheaton will take on roles that were tra­di­tion­ally med­i­cal, such as di­ag­no­sis, be­ing able to in­de­pen­dently or­der tests and pre­scribe med­i­ca­tion.

She will work at Cald­well and Lee, Toko­roa Pri­mary Care and Medi Cen­tre.

WEL­COME: Doc­tor Thai Lee and nurse prac­ti­tioner Josephine Davis-Wheaton are two new faces prac­tis­ing medicine in Toko­roa.

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