13 February 2019
Dr Curtis Walker Appointed to Chairperson Medical Council New Zealand
Dr Curtis Walker, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou, has been elected as Chairperson of the Medical Council of New Zealand. He succeeds Mr Andrew Connolly who has been the Council's Chair since February 2014.
Dr Walker also serves on the board of Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa – Māori Medical Practitioners Association (Te ORA) – indicating his strong commitment to improving Māori health and to supporting doctors during the challenging years spent in specialist training.
Current Kaihautū/Chairperson of Te ORA Dr David Tipene-Leach says “the appointment of Dr Curtis Walker to Chair of the Medical Council mirrors the progress of Māori doctors into national leadership positions around the country. This is good for New Zealand, good for our health system and great for Māori communities. Amongst other things, Dr Walker is big on equitable outcomes for Māori patients and, with retiring Chair Mr Andrew Connolly, has championed the Medical Council’s quest to revamp cultural competency and subsequent relationships between doctors and their Māori patients, the New Zealand health system and the Māori community. He is a classic ‘tauira’ – both an ongoing learner and a model for others to aspire to.
Dr Walker currently works as a renal and general physician at MidCentral District Health Board. Dr Walker says “A strong driver from me is to help the people in our community to achieve better health outcomes. The focus Council has placed on cultural competence and cultural safety is essential as part of our role to work with the health sector to address inequities.”
Council's Chief Executive, Joan Simeon said Dr Walker would bring “a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience” to the role, which would be invaluable to the Council in its role of protecting public health and safety.