RACS Specialist Medical Volunteers are the backbone of RACS Global Health programs. Without the extraordinary commitment and skills provided by volunteers, RACS Global Health would not be able to provide surgical and educational support to our Pacific neighbours. 

In anticipation of the re-opening of the Cook Islands quarantine-free travel bubble, and with talks of quarantine-free travel extending to other Pacific countries, RACS Global Health is seeking expressions of interest from interested Aotearoa New Zealand-based surgeons who would like to participate on upcoming visiting medical team assignments in the Pacific Islands.

Christchurch-based paediatric surgeon, Professor Spencer Beasley, has volunteered in Vanuatu and Fiji for more than 10 years. He decided to volunteer as he considered it part of his regional responsibility in his specialty. “I was also aware that some of the geographic inequities of outcome could be reduced relatively easily by providing more support to the surgeons in these countries.

“Initially I did most of the surgery with the emerging paediatric surgeons assisting, but with time, I now assist the highly capable local surgeons. The surgery has ranged from simple day case surgery to very complex correction of congenital abnormalities.”

One of the things that Spencer enjoys most about volunteering is seeing the continued improvements in the quality of care and greatly increased local capability with time. “I have got to know well my colleagues in Vanuatu, in particular, and our contact continues well outside the times of the visits, such is our friendship.”

You can find out more about Global Health and volunteering at a webinar on Thursday 16 September 7.30 – 8.15pm NZT.

Register for the webinar.