Guest speaker eyes health services

Saturday May 12, 2018 Written by Published in Health
Red Cross Charity Ball special guest Dr Lance O’Sullivan and event organiser Jaewynn McKay. 18051151 Red Cross Charity Ball special guest Dr Lance O’Sullivan and event organiser Jaewynn McKay. 18051151

He might be here on a flying visit to support this year’s Red Cross Charity Ball, but New Zealand doctor Lance O’Sullivan is cramming as much as he possibly can into his three days here in the Cook Islands.

When CINews caught up with him yesterday, the former New Zealander of the Year had just come from a meeting with the Ministry of Health and was about to head off for a chat with New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Peter Marshall.

Later tonight the 45-year-old father of seven will be guest speaker at this year’s Red Cross Charity Ball, which also features Kiwi broadcaster Carol Hirschfeld as guest MC.

“The invitation to speak here at the Red Cross ball was very exciting for me, given the additional reasons why I’m up here, which are around the opportunity to enhance the health services of the Cook Islands,” said O’Sullivan, before going on to reveal that he will be working with the Ministry of Health on a continuing basis.

“I’m very excited about being able to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the Cook Islands people,” he added, explaining that while things are still at the “early discussion” stage just now, he hopes to eventually be able to transfer the sort of digital health work he does in New Zealand here to the Cook Islands.

“Nothing is over the line, nothing is confirmed, it’s just a willingness to discuss what could be possible.

“I do a lot of digital health work in New Zealand, using the Cloud, apps and mobile devices to provide digital health services to children.”

The Kiwi doctor also said that despite still maintaining a fairly busy schedule, “it’s great to be here and have a bit of a break”.

“It is a busy break to be honest – I fill up my time too much, I like to be busy – but it’s nice to be here and connect with people that I’ve met before again.”

O’Sullivan has travelled to the Cook Islands on several occasions in the past and has already established connections with the Rarotongan clinical community.

He’ll be returning to the Cook Islands in July for a health conference, and hopes he will be able to travel to the northern group at that time too.

As for now and his guest speaker turn at tonight’s Red Cross ball, O’Sullivan says he’s “really excited about strengthening the relationships that I already have with people here, and also creating some new ones too”.

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