Inaugural Professorial Lecture – Professor Sue Crengle

Thursday, August 18th, 2022 | claly44p | No Comments

Hauora Māori – an ongoing journey

Sue Crengle (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) is a GP and Public Health Physician.

Sue’s research focuses on Māori health equity and inequities in health status and health outcomes. She has a particular interest in health services research (especially primary care), youth health and mental health.

Sue uses Kaupapa Māori quantitative and qualitative methods and has had an increasing focus on trialling interventions to assess their impact on Hauora Māori outcomes.

This event will be live-streamed, from 5:25pm Tuesday 23 August 2022, and will be available after the event here.

Professor Sue Crengle’s IPL video stream

Date Tuesday, 23 August 2022
Time 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Audience Public,Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff,Alumni
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Inaugural Professorial Lecture
Campus Dunedin
Location Archway 1 Lecture Theatre, Union St East, Dunedin, Dunedin
Cost Free
Contact Name Bailey Mclean
Contact Phone +64 3 471 6113
Contact Email

Congratulations to Rural Health Researchers!

Friday, July 1st, 2022 | claly44p | No Comments

Our shining stars, Dr Rory Miller and Assoc Prof Garry Nixon are among 22 University of Otago researchers to receive Health Research Council funding in the latest round.  Check out the full report. – well worth it for the photos! 

Awesome to see rural health research being supported!

“Dr Rory Miller, of the Department of General Practice and Rural Health, will assess a pathway to allow patients who develop chest pain to remain closer to their communities and whanau by accessing blood testing technology which is as accurate as those available in urban emergency departments.”

“Associate Professor Garry Nixon, of the Department of General Practice and Rural Health, is seeking to better understand the impact of rurality on health outcomes and healthcare delivery.  Aotearoa has not undertaken much research into the health status of rural communities, so he wants to find out how rurality, ethnicity and socioeconomic status interact to impact on health outcomes and access to health services for New Zealanders, how people move between urban and rural areas when they become unwell, and how much public healthcare rural New Zealanders consume, in dollar terms, compared to their urban compatriots.”


Teaching Opportunies | Rural Health

Friday, April 1st, 2022 | claly44p | No Comments

15/03/2022 | ID: 005716

We are seeking to make appointments for Paper Conveners within the Rural Health post-graduate team.

We have several positions available, and we are open to making these appointments at any level from Professional Practice Fellow to Senior Lecturer level.

There is flexibility to undertake the work from anywhere in NZ, combining it with rural clinical work.

These roles would best suit those who have completed the Diploma of Rural and Provincial Hospital Medicine (or equivalent) and are currently working (or have prior experience) in a senior medical position in rural New Zealand.

We welcome applications for both fixed-term and permanent positions.

The roles are part-time in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 FTE.

Applications close on Monday, 25 April 2022.


Name: Recruitment

Congratulations! Eric Elder Medal winner; Honorary and distinguished fellows;

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 | Rory | 1 Comment

Congratulations to the three members of the Section received wards at the RNZCGP conference.  Kati Blattner who was awarded the Eric Elder medal, Branko Sijnja was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship, Jill Muirhead and Wendy Finnie were awarded Honorary Fellowships.

Kati winning Eric Elder Medal


Branko the distinguished.

Jill and Wendy receiving their fellowships

Rural postgraduate programme – position(s) available

Monday, August 2nd, 2021 | Rory | No Comments

Further information and application available here:

We want you


Who we are

The Department of General Practice and Rural Health is an academic unit within Otago Medical School. It was the first university department of general practice in New Zealand and is one of the oldest in the world.

Staff in this department come from a wide variety of disciplines and are involved in teaching and research in the fields of general practice and primary care.

We teach undergraduate medical students and have an active postgraduate programme which offers diploma, masters, and PhD opportunities.

The role

The rural post-graduate programme is seeking a Professional Practice Fellow to join its teaching team. In this role, you will assist with convening papers and residential workshops, as well as assisting with the continued development of the programme.

It would be an opportunity to see if you are interested in being more involved in rural health teaching. We are a distributed team so this role can be undertaken from anywhere in New Zealand.

Your skills and experience

•    Effective communication skills.
•    Understanding of the rural health setting and the associated training programme.
•    Be able to demonstrate sound leadership skills.
•    Previous experience in teaching at a tertiary level.

Further details

This is a part-time (0.5 FTE) fixed term position, from August to December 2021.

You must have the right to live and work in New Zealand to apply for this position.

For further information, please contact Rory Miller or Garry Nixon via the email addresses below.


To submit your application (including CV and cover letter) please click the apply button below. Applications quoting reference number 2101464 will close on Wednesday, 11 August 2021.

Additional Information

Note: As a part-time position, the salary range for this role will be the pro-rata equivalent of the annual full-time salary range listed.

Contact: Rory Miller

Contact: Garry Nixon

Postcards from the edge #2: The end is where we start from

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 | Rory | No Comments

This weeks postcard comes from Rawene in the far north. Clare Ward ( FRNZCGP dist.; FDRHMNZ) been based in Hokianga, at Hokianga health, for almost 3 decades working across the primary secondary interface.

The end is where we start from

In Hokianga cultural memory is long and buried deep in the grain of its people. One hundred and two years ago there were mass graves and no ceremony as the flu epidemic reached and brought mortal sickness to our communities. Today there are memorial stones to mark these places.

Today we expect that one hole will hold the one who has succumbed to this new virus. We know that there will not be time for traditional tangihanga. We know that only one or two home people will be there to say farewell on behalf of the whole whanau community. We know that tears will fall in a hundred homes and there will be a sense of something incomplete.

Already in our hospital we have had one such farewell- not a victim of the infection itself but a casualty of the shadow it has cast over all of us.

Cultural memory has brought up the past and so it is not difficult to pass by a friend and know that the physical distance between us is a mark of the respect and manaakitanga we have for each other.

The past is always with us in the faces of this generation and this generation looks back and calls back to its ancestors and walks forward in the knowledge that it is possible to learn from that time in 1918 when what we knew and the ways in which we could respond were so much less.

As always we acknowledge that which is greater than we are

Noho ora mai I roto I nga ringa o Te Atua.

We are bringing you a ‘Postcards from the Edge’ series: short reflections from rural/remote settings around NZ and the region, which will make up the LOFP blog leader during the Covid pandemic. Our hope is that these will keep the rural remote voices loud and all of us connected and uplifted.

Instructions for those wanting to submit

Please send your reflections +/-photo for our Postcards from the edge series to

We are looking for geographical and creative diversity to cover a broad swath of rural and remote health care in NZ and the pacific.

Maximum word count 400 , wll be strictly adhered to.

Please attach a photograph and/or artwork with your submission (or it might be your piece).

NB: it is unlikley that all submissions will be able to be published: please don’t be offended if it doesn’t make it.

Week 1: The birds a little louder

Friday, March 27th, 2020 | Rory | No Comments

The birds are louder this week

Ending the first week of the COVID–19 proper, although still feels like a prelude. We have done a lot of talking. So many emails. Not many patients.

At least two cases of COVID–19 confirmed pneumonia have been admitted to a rural hospital. A DHB freaked out. Interesting. Sanity prevailed after several hours. The patient stayed for a few days. The patient deteriorated and was transferred. This went smoothly. Suprising.

People have stopped coming to hospital. Seemingly unnecessary investigations have stopped – this seems to have been accepted by patients. Interesting.

Some DHBs have become more helpful and communicative. Some are visiting rural health services, some are building negative pressure rooms. Most are talking to us and some are listening. Others…

The birds are louder this week

The kids are at home. Our bubble is huge. It still hasn’t rained.

The city seems to have come to the beach for a ‘holiday’. Anxiety over how we will cope if they get sick. DHBs didn’t make a statement. Mayoral pleas didn’t make the mainstream media. Road blocks and dynamite?

The are birds are louder this week

Maybe it will rain tomorrow…. I hope we stayed home early enough.

Some news:

Associate Professor Garry Nixon, Department of General Practice and Rural Health, University of Otago, comments:

“Rural communities will be more vulnerable to the impact of Covid–19. This is because the residents of rural towns are on average older, have a lower socioeconomic status, are more likely to be Māori, have poorer health status, and less access to health services, than urban dwellers.

“Rural indigenous communities may be particularly at risk around the world. We know for example the swine flu epidemic hit rural aboriginal communities very hard, and rural Māori communities suffered considerably in the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic.

“Only a handful of patients have so far needed hospital admission in New Zealand but at least two of these have been admitted to small rural hospitals. This is potentially a significant problem for three reasons:

  • Rural hospitals lack ‘surge capacity’. They are largely driven by acute need and are often at capacity in the winter months and they do not have outpatient clinics or elective surgery that can be cancelled in order to create urgent additional capacity.
  • The majority of rural health services are chronically understaffed and are often heavily reliant on locums.
  • Because of the infection risk, very unwell Covid–19 patients are difficult to safely transfer from a rural to a base hospital.

“The isolation and low population density of rural towns may help but the large numbers of tourists will increase spread. The Coromandel Mayor has urged people not to use their bach for isolation – with the Rural GP Network saying their health services won’t cope. In Norway, urban dwellers have been banned from using their vacation homes for isolation. It will be important to limit movement into rural communities to the absolute minimum.”

COVID–19 and digital technology: The roles, relevance and risks of using telehealth in a crisis​

Under Pressure One Italian Doctor Triages by Ultrasound

The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians & The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada Press Release: Rural Emergency Departments & COVID19

Keeping the Coronavirus from Infecting Health-Care Workers What Singapore’s and Hong Kong’s success is teaching us about the pandemic. By Atul Gawande


Send through comments, experiences, thoughts and any COVID-19 related links to so can be included in next weeks entry.