The Fono

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Taking care of families

‘Top notch’ is how Dr Asif Rahman describes the quality of care at The Fono. Having joined the Blockhouse Bay clinic as a General Practitioner, Dr Asif identifies with the families he cares for. His insight is invaluable to the care of his patients and their families, and he thrives on being able to offer patients a continuity of care.

Dr Asif works part-time hours to spend more time with his family, looking after his bedridden mother with his wife and his sister.  

He says his own situation is reminiscent of many of his Pacific patients, in the way his family takes care of his ailing mother.

“It’s not uncommon in Pacific Island families to take care of their family members,” says Dr Asif.

“I can see what they go through and how difficult it is, so it helps me to help them.”

It also allows him an insight into his patients’ lives beyond treating their illness.

Growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dr Asif earned a medical degree at Dhaka University and worked in local hospitals before moving to New Zealand 21 years ago.

In the first few years working in New Zealand hospitals, he describes the environment as “not ideal”.

“I was working very long hours with rostered duties, which isn’t good when you have a family.”

The 24-7 hospital setting, coupled with not being able to follow up with patients the way he can in general practice, encouraged him to explore other options within his profession.

Going into General Practice in 2009 was a game-changer, with reasonable hours and an entirely new way of caring for his patients.

“As a General Practitioner I’m looking after the health of the whole family. I get to know them well and like to establish a long-term relationship with them,” he says.

With The Fono, he says there are many benefits from its additional layers of wrap-around services.

“While I look at the medical side of things, we also have assistance from the diabetic nurse, the asthma clinic nurse, things like that.”

Providing affordable quality care is important to Dr Asif.

“I like to work where I can help people more. Because The Fono is service-oriented, people are well looked after at an affordable cost. Money isn’t the main thing.”

This allows him to focus on the continuity of care for his patients.

“The best thing for my patients is being able to offer continuity of care. In a hospital they come in; the problem is treated and they’re sent home without knowing if there’s any follow up. It’s not like that here.”

It’s important to Dr Asif his patients are educated about health issues.

“They can take control of their health and we’ll be here to help them when needed.”

Although pleased that former patients have followed him to The Fono Blockhouse Bay, Dr Asif also hopes more local patients will come to take advantage of the services and type of care The Fono has to offer.

Find out more 

The Fono Blockhouse Bay 

Dr Asif Rahman 

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