Doc circles NZ on healthy mission

ON A BOAT: Former Tolaga Bay doctor Tom Mulholland, a leading authority on wellbeing, will be in Gisborne this month as part of a six month Healthy Oceans, People and Ports (HOPP) tour. Pictures supplied
Dr Tom Mulholland.

A former Tolaga Bay doctor who has spent thousands of hours driving the country in a V8 ambulance diagnosing unwell Kiwis, is heading toward Gisborne on a six-month Healthy Oceans, People and Ports tour.

The HOPP tour is over land and sea.

Dr Tom Mulholland, a leading authority on wellbeing, has hosted his own television and radio shows, has a weekly column in a national Sunday newspaper and has penned two books on healthy thinking.

For the past four years he has taken his retro Chevy V8 ambulance around the country to diagnose and provide people with the information they need to keep themselves safe with their families at home, “rather than in the emergency department”.

From October to March he will provide the same service at coastal communities — from Whangarei in the north to Stewart Island in the south.

He will be in Gisborne on Tuesday, wind and tide permitting. His next stop after Gisborne is Napier.

Dr Tom and his team will circumnavigate the country in the 12m power cat MV Cool Change, supporting a land crew travelling in the ‘‘Dr Tom on a Mission’’ ambulance.

“Primary industries such as forestry, farming and fishing are a vital part of New Zealand’s economy,” he said.

“Investing in the wellbeing of the people who run this industry is paramount in sustainability and return on investment of resources.

“Traditionally, we tend to invest time and money into plant, stock and processes, without investing in ourselves and our workmates.”

Based on his experiences, he estimates his health checks will diagnose 300 people with pre or full type 2 diabetes, 450 with high blood pressure, 500 with stress, anxiety or depression and a further 350 with a poor sense of purpose or plan for their life.

His land tour has already uncovered hundreds of cases of dangerously high blood pressure, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

“These conditions, left untreated, are some of the most common reasons New Zealanders are being taken away from their families earlier than necessary,” he said.

The HOPP Tour focus is on coastal communities because he believes they can often be neglected when it comes to health care.

Dr Tom has spent 30 years working as an emergency department doctor, and says most of the cases he sees in ED are from preventable illnesses.

“However, by the time patients have reached hospital, most of the damage has already been done.

“That is why we go to the people, rather than waiting for them to go to the emergency department.”

Dr Tom says he and his team have met some real characters and connected with the farming and forestry industries and tackled some of the issues they face —including high accident rates and rural suicide.

“It has made a measurable difference to hundreds of people, and hopefully extended their lives.”

He believes if you measure wellbeing, you can manage it. He and his team have developed a wellbeing app called KYND that measures physical, social and mental health.

The Dr Tom ambulance will accompany all coastal talks, transforming into a pop-up medical clinic offering medical checks. Each person will also receive free access to the KYND app.

A former Tolaga Bay doctor who has spent thousands of hours driving the country in a V8 ambulance diagnosing unwell Kiwis, is heading toward Gisborne on a six-month Healthy Oceans, People and Ports tour.

The HOPP tour is over land and sea.

Dr Tom Mulholland, a leading authority on wellbeing, has hosted his own television and radio shows, has a weekly column in a national Sunday newspaper and has penned two books on healthy thinking.

For the past four years he has taken his retro Chevy V8 ambulance around the country to diagnose and provide people with the information they need to keep themselves safe with their families at home, “rather than in the emergency department”.

From October to March he will provide the same service at coastal communities — from Whangarei in the north to Stewart Island in the south.

He will be in Gisborne on Tuesday, wind and tide permitting. His next stop after Gisborne is Napier.

Dr Tom and his team will circumnavigate the country in the 12m power cat MV Cool Change, supporting a land crew travelling in the ‘‘Dr Tom on a Mission’’ ambulance.

“Primary industries such as forestry, farming and fishing are a vital part of New Zealand’s economy,” he said.

“Investing in the wellbeing of the people who run this industry is paramount in sustainability and return on investment of resources.

“Traditionally, we tend to invest time and money into plant, stock and processes, without investing in ourselves and our workmates.”

Based on his experiences, he estimates his health checks will diagnose 300 people with pre or full type 2 diabetes, 450 with high blood pressure, 500 with stress, anxiety or depression and a further 350 with a poor sense of purpose or plan for their life.

His land tour has already uncovered hundreds of cases of dangerously high blood pressure, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

“These conditions, left untreated, are some of the most common reasons New Zealanders are being taken away from their families earlier than necessary,” he said.

The HOPP Tour focus is on coastal communities because he believes they can often be neglected when it comes to health care.

Dr Tom has spent 30 years working as an emergency department doctor, and says most of the cases he sees in ED are from preventable illnesses.

“However, by the time patients have reached hospital, most of the damage has already been done.

“That is why we go to the people, rather than waiting for them to go to the emergency department.”

Dr Tom says he and his team have met some real characters and connected with the farming and forestry industries and tackled some of the issues they face —including high accident rates and rural suicide.

“It has made a measurable difference to hundreds of people, and hopefully extended their lives.”

He believes if you measure wellbeing, you can manage it. He and his team have developed a wellbeing app called KYND that measures physical, social and mental health.

The Dr Tom ambulance will accompany all coastal talks, transforming into a pop-up medical clinic offering medical checks. Each person will also receive free access to the KYND app.

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