Twenty years ago South Seas Healthcare were instrumental in lobbying the DHBs and Ministry of Health of the need for a Primary Healthcare organisation that reflects the population it serves. The founders were 9 doctors and all Samoan; Dr Debbie Ryan, Dr Sirovai Fuatai, Dr Andrew Chan Mow, Dr Florina Chan Mow, Dr Juliet Walker, Dr Sam Fuimaono, Dr Teuila Percival, Dr Alec Ekeroma and Dr Tiso Faletoese.
Starting out as a small Otara GP clinic manned by a part-time GP and only had a handful of patients, only a few months later, South Seas started its work in the community, delivering Well Child and family focused services. Since then, South Seas has developed and delivered a number of healthcare services, their General Practitioner clinic currently provides comprehensive primary care services to over 5,500 patients, with an outreach and home visiting nurse service.
Past innovations by South Seas include setting up the first Community Lactation Clinic with Turuki Health care and training the first Māori and Samoan Lactation consultants in New Zealand. In addition to being a Whānau Ora service provider, South Seas social workers and community workers provide Healthy Housing intervention (AWHI) and their health campaigns for rheumatic fever are available in seven schools in South Auckland through the Mana Kidz programme.
On Saturday 9th February 2019, a 20th birthday celebration marking this impressive milestone, took place at Te Puke o Otara Community Centre. More than 300 people were in attendance, including the Associate Minister of Health, Honourable Jenny Salesa as the keynote speaker and the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Honourable Aupito William Sio, who had the honour of cutting the cake.
CEO of Alliance Health Plus PHO Wayne Williams, congratulated South Seas for their accomplishments to date with the gift of a painting. Also in attendance from AH+ were Vanita Hira (Practice Network Services Manager), Pauline Sanders (Nurse Leader) and Metua Bates (Pacific Integration & Development Services Manager). AH+ and SSH have enjoyed a strong partnership since 2010 when AH+ was established.