Director of Psychiatric Services at the Ministry of Health Cook Islands Dr Rangi Fariu says two professionals from New Zealand will be available for consultations from April 4 to April 8 in Rarotonga at the Tupapa Health Centre and also on April 14 and 15.
They will also hold consultations in Aitutaki from April 11 to 13.
Fariu says both specialists have been to the Cook Islands many times and this programme is conducted twice a year.
“We get them here just to review cases that we have and make sure that the cases being handled in the Cook Islands are also going as they are expected.
“This is a chance for us to get some new ideas from them and to ensure that the difficult cases we have been handling are also being seen by the doctors.”
Fariu said some of the more difficult mental disorder cases sometimes involved people who had been abused and had suffered psychological or emotional problems.
“I know my limits. We don’t really deal in those areas though we try the best we can, so when we get opportunities like this, when a psychologist visits, then we get them to take a look at some of our cases.”
Dr Fariu says the two are now fully booked and are looking forward to the support local doctors will give them.
He says the psychiatrist will diagnose and prescribe medicine for mental illnesses and the psychologist will diagnose and manage mental, emotional, intellectual and behaviourial problems in children and adults.
He said it would take an hour for each patient or person to have an appointment with a psychologist and at least half an hour to be seen by a psychiatrist.
Dr Fariu says the visitors will also visit the patients suffering mental illnesses at Arorangi Prison and mentally-challenged children in schools around Rarotonga.