Press Release – Auckland Eye
One of New Zealand’s top eye surgeons has been awarded honorary Cook Island residency for his work in the South Pacific nation during the past 20 years.Kiwi Eye Surgeon Awarded Cook Island Residency for Compassionate Work
One of New Zealand’s top eye surgeons has been awarded honorary Cook Island residency for his work in the South Pacific nation during the past 20 years.
Dr Paul Rosser, a sub-specialist oculoplastic surgeon and founding member of Auckland Eye, is being honoured for his longstanding volunteer work in the Cook Islands, which he has visited almost every year for the past two decades.
Dr Rosser says he was offered the honorary residency because of his long history with the Cook Islands.
“I’ve been going there since 1992, having made 16 trips and performed around 850 cataract operations. Basically, we perform most of their eye care now in terms of eye surgery and other procedures and consultations, such as diabetic work,” he says.
“I think the offer of residency is relatively rare and I understand that it needed to go through Parliament. The idea was first broached to me a few years ago by their Ministry of Health. They asked if I might like to have it, and I said it would be lovely,” says Dr Rosser.
During the ceremony on July 10, the Queen’s representative will award the residency to Dr Rosser along with some fellow New Zealanders from volunteer medical teams.
Dr Rosser says he fell in love with the Cook Islands when he visited as a young boy travelling by ship to England.
“Soon after I got back from London, where I trained in ocular plastic surgery, one of the doctors who had been volunteering at the Cook Islands was thinking of retiring, and he asked if I’d be interested in taking his place. I haven’t looked back since. We now have a team of 2-3 optometrists, 2 medical retinal ophthalmologists and an ophthalmic nurse who make the annual trip”.
Dr Rosser has taken his wife and two children on a number of the visits to the Cook Islands and says his family is very excited to have him recognised as an official citizen.
“I really enjoy working with the Cook Islanders. The people are friendly, and the team are a lovely bunch to work with. The Cook Islands is a protectorate of New Zealand, and many of the people who live there know and expect a good standard of healthcare – which we aim to provide.”
Dr Paul Rosser Bi
Paul is a sub-specialist eye surgeon, with an emphasis on oculoplastic (eyelid surgery) lacrimal (tear duct) and orbital surgery. In addition, he is an experienced cataract surgeon and has been performing laser refractive surgery since 1997, specialising in LASIK
Paul trained in ophthalmology in Auckland before traveling to London for fellowship training in oculoplastics, lacrimal and orbital surgery. He returned to a specialist position at Auckland Hospital in 1991, establishing the oculoplastic and lacrimal subspecialty within the hospital system. Having completed a three-year tenure as Chairman of the Ophthalmic Surgeons Committee, Paul continues to consult part-time at Greenlane Clinical Centre alongside his commitments at Auckland Eye and Apollo Health and Wellness Centre. He has provided cataract surgery to the Cook Islands since 1992 and currently travels there annually as the visiting ophthalmic surgeon
He is a clinical Senior Lecturer attached to the Department of Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine, and regularly trains optometrists, GP’s and junior ophthalmologists. Paul has held a four-year position as Section Editor in orbits and plastics for the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology and continues to regularly review articles submitted to the journal
In conjunction with the University he helped establish an international oculoplastic fellowship position and since 2000 been involved in training 8 overseas doctors in the subspecialty
Paul is a member in both the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmolog (RANZCO) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Oculoplastic Surgeon (ANZSOPS) being a recent past president of this society. As well as regularly presenting a annual meetings he has published numerous papers on oculoplastic surgery, being at the forefront of new techniques in this specialty.