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‘Holistic’ approach to strengthening, improving healthcare in Cook Islands

Saturday 22 July 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Features, Go Local


‘Holistic’ approach to strengthening, improving healthcare in Cook Islands
Holistic Medical owner Dr Teariki Puni with his family outside the clinic located behind the Empire Cinemas. SUPPLIED/23072118

There is a new private medical clinic on Rarotonga. Holistic Medical provides a full range of general practice, minor accident and medical services for the community.

The Clinic is conveniently located behind the Empire Cinemas, first building, downstairs from Matysik & Marshall P.C, next door to Halo Hair Salon. Its current opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8 to 4pm. The Clinic has disability parking and access.

The owner is Dr Teariki Puni. Dr Puni graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the Fiji School of Medicine and has 20 years’ experience as a doctor.

Dr Puni previously worked for Te Marae Ora (TMO) since 2011. He has also worked in Samoa at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, and in New Zealand at Rawene Hospital in Hokianga and Coast to Coast Health Care in Wellsford.

Dr Puni completed his Cook Islands General Practice Fellowship under Te Marae Ora, University of Otago, and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Dr Puni has a personal interest to improve community and individual wellbeing through better healthcare solutions for those with non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs and their risk factors are a major challenge for the public health in the Cook Islands, the Pacific and globally. According to TMO’s Strategic Action Plan to Prevent and Control NCDs 2021-2025, NCDs are the leading cause of premature illness, death and disability in the Cook Islands.

A key principle of the Strategic Action Plan is effective partnerships. Holistic Medical is the first private medical clinic to sign a memorandum of understanding with TMO to strengthen and improve healthcare in the Cook Islands through public-private sector partnership. Under this arrangement TMO has given Holistic Medical access to TMO’s patient database (Electronic Medical Record).

Dr Puni also has a personal interest in sports medicine. Dr Puni is team doctor for Team Cook Islands to international competitions, he is an executive member of Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee, and chair of the Cook Island Medical and Antidoping Organisation (CIMADO).

At a regional level, he is a member of the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) Medical Commission and chair of the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (ORADO).

When asked about the meaning of the Clinic’s name, Dr Puni responded: “The aim of the Clinic is to provide a more holistic approach to patient wellness. I would like the Clinic to become a hub to provide different forms of treatment. I’ll be collaborating with other health professionals who can use this space to provide mental health, counselling, oral health (dental), chiropractic, and other health services.”

For an appointment, call 23860. We accept walk-ins. We also provide after-hour doctor’s visit to homes and private accommodations/hotels.