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Prime Minister Opens General Practice

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Lucy Ratcliffe GP couple Marc and Lois Paton, and three-week-old Benjamin, chat with prime minister John Key at the opening of Silver Fern Medical Centre

It's not every day the prime minister talks about his prostate, but then again, it's not everyday John Key opens a new general practice either.

Mr Key admitted it was probably "politically incorrect" to reflect on his first prostate examination at the opening of Silver Fern Medical Centre in Rodney town Waimauku, west of Auckland, but told the story anyway.

The point of the story perhaps was to demonstrate how close patients have to get to their GPs sometimes - Mr Key says before the examination, he wanted to know if his GP was a National voter, if they were going to get that close.

Mr Key didn't reveal which way his GP voted, but did say his prostate was fine and of course that he was honoured to be opening a new clinic in his Helensville electorate.

New practice, new baby

The sole GPs and owners of Silver Fern Medical Centre actually began practising in the town last August, but they wanted to wait for their first child to be born before officially opening the practice.

GP couple Marc and Lois Paton welcomed little Benjamin to the world just over three weeks ago.

Twenty-nine-year-old Lois admits investing in a new general practice and having a baby in their adopted country all at the same time perhaps was a bit "mental" - but it's all worked out so far.

Driven by compassion

The couple met at medical school in Liverpool, UK and moved to New Zealand in 2006.

On arrival they worked at various hospitals and practices, but just couldn't find the right place to work.

"We decided to have our own practice because we felt there was something lacking," Marc says.

That something lacking was compassion, so they decided it could only be fostered if they built their own practice on that very principle.


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