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Your Medical Officers of Health


Your Medical Officers of Health are public health physicians (doctors) who specialise in the health of groups or whole communities rather than working on individual healthcare.

The Medical Officer of Health role is tasked by the Director General of Health (under the 1956 Health Act) to improve, protect and promote the health of the population in their health districts.

They regularly publish reports that provide information, comment and opinion on current public health topics and issues.
 

Dr Phil Shoemack
Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Head of Service and Medical Leader for Regional Community Services

Dr Phil Shoemack is a public health physician, Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Head of Service for Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service, and also the Medical Leader for the Bay of Plenty District Health Board Regional Community Services.

He undertook all of his under-graduate and post-graduate medical training in New Zealand, and has been working in public health in the Bay of Plenty since 1986.

His interests include reducing inequalities, how to get the whole community more physically active and the prevention of health issues at a population level through healthy public policy.  “I’m passionate about helping to build environments which are supportive of good population health outcomes,” says Dr Shoemack.

Qualifications and professional memberships:

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, University of Otago
  • Diploma in Community Health, University of Otago
  • Diploma in Occupational Medicine, University of Auckland
  • Fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine

 

Dr Neil de Wet
Medical Officer of Health and Health Services Development Manager

Dr Neil de Wet is a public health physician, Medical Officer of Health and Health Services Development Manager for Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service. 

His interests include environmental health, ecology and health, childhood obesity prevention, and science and risk communication.  He is also interested in the control and prevention of infectious diseases, and leads the tuberculosis control programme.  “Much of our work in public health is about prevention, and this is often about identifying and managing risks to people’s health, preventing infectious diseases and managing outbreaks.  But this also requires looking beyond the immediate risks to the wider context and long term view of what affect’s people’s health,” says Dr de Wet.

“It is a real privilege and can be very rewarding to part of this long term collective social effort to help make changes that give everyone the best opportunities for good health," say Dr de Wet.

Before specialising in public health Dr de Wet spent some years working in the area of ecology and health in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Prior to that he worked as a junior doctor in several areas of medicine, including general medicine and surgery, accident and emergency, geriatrics and orthopaedics as well as paediatrics and paediatric infectious diseases.

Qualifications and professional memberships:

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, University of Cape Town
  • Master of Philosophy (Environmental Science), University of Cape Town
  • Master of Public Health, University of Auckland
  • Fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine

 

Dr Jim Miller
Medical Officer of Health and Environmental Health Manager

Dr Jim Miller is a public health physician, Medical Officer of Health and Environmental Health Manager for Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service. 

Jim trained in public health medicine in Yorkshire, England, before spending ten years as a consultant in communicable diseases and environmental health in Scotland.

Since moving to New Zealand in 2007, he has continued to focus on health protection, whilst developing interests in leadership, and public health policy development. He currently leads our health protection team.

In the Bay of Plenty, he has taken an interest in immunisation, rheumatic fever and sanitation. Nationally, he has been active in the NZ College of Public Health Medicine, latterly as chair of their Policy Committee during a period when positions on wide range of public health issues have been developed.

"Working in public health gives me the chance to help people, individually or as families, for example when giving advice on a case of infectious diseasee, and at community or even national level by contributing to the development of new health regulations," says Dr Miller.

Qualifications and professional memberships:

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Glasgow
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, University of Glasgow
  • Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Fellow of Faculty of Public Health, United Kingdom
  • Fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine
  • Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
Last modified: 11 Jul 2017
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