The Health Ministry may have refused to back his wahakura safe sleep initiative to tackle the high incidence of sudden infant death among Maori, but his colleagues rate Dr David Tipene-Leach highly.
The medical researcher and Hastings GP is among a group of Maori health advocates set to be honoured this weekend at the annual conference of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in Auckland.
Dr Lily Fraser from Turuki Healthcare in Mangere says she had the benefit of being taught by Dr Tipene Leach at medical school, and she was mentored by another distinguished fellowship recipient, Te Kaha GP Rachel Thompson.
“She manaaki’s all the Maori doctors going through. She’s really single-handedly, the reason why there are 15 Maori doctors receiving their fellowship for the Royal College of General Practice this weekend. It’s only right that we recognise her and David Tipene-Leach for the role that they play in Maori health and in bringing young Maori GP’s through, they’re really the cornerstone of our whare,” Dr Fraser says.
The College will also grant honorary fellowships to Taranaki GP Errol Raumati from Ngati Mutunga and former associate health minister Dame Tariana Turia.