Dr Gal Carmi
Tui Ora Family Health , GP
Dr Gal Carmi is a GP at Tui Ora Family Health. He moved to New Zealand with his family from Israel, having spent the previous six years as a family physician and the last one and a half years as a clinic manager in the Northern part of the country. They settled in Oakura, a community he describes as warm and welcoming. "We already feel at home.”
In his free time, Gal enjoys spending time with his family, exploring Taranaki, surfing and cycling.
Getting used to the Kiwi health system was his first priority when assuming the GP role with TOFH in October 2015. “New beginnings are always challenging at first," reflects Gal. "Getting to know a new medical system and new methods of operation, in addition to new staff and team members and a different language, were sometimes overwhelming. Tui Ora were very supportive throughout the process, which enabled me to settle into my new role quickly and efficiently."
"I find the cultural aspect of the relationship between the patients and their GP highly important.
Up until October 2017, Gal was the Clinical Director at Tui Ora, until he decided to focus more on his GP work and his family - he and his wife have four young children. The role was pivotal in developments and initiatives at the practice and Gal laid down foundations for the role, which was only created last year.
“In the past year we have undergone an external assessment as part of the process of becoming a Cornerstone-accredited practice, he says. Being able to lead that and provide GP liaison was important.”
In addition, collaboration is now happening between TOFH and the Mental Health and Addictions Services at Tui Ora, in part due to the focus that a CD brings. The arrival of new psychiatrist Dan Shlosberg who previously worked in Israel where secondary services are more community based, was good timing. Now, multi-disciplinary team meetings are taking place which involve MHAS kaimahi and allow for a a more holistic approach to be taken of client care.
As well, community mental health nurse Sharon Robertson is working closely with the practice, helping assess patients who may be battling with mental health issues, determining their options such as counselling, or a referral to other services.
“All of this showed the CD’s role is a very important one,” says Gal. “I will still be around as part of the team but I'm freed up to focus on where I started, caring one-on-one for patients passing through the practice.