After more than 45 years. Dr Tony Townsend is hanging up his stethoscope. "You have probably already heard that I will really be retiring from general practice at the end of March this year," he tells us. "My retirement party was four years ago so it is unlikely to come as a great surprise that, at the age of 74, I have decided to hang up my stethoscope and focus on family and enjoy different experiences."
Dr Townsend says he is reassured that the community will continue to receive excellent medical care. "We now have Donna, Jess and Rory continuing to work at Whangamata Medical Centre and they will assist David (who has been here for a while now) and Michael (who has been here forever).
There will be other locums in the future as that is inevitable in a small rural New Zealand community, but the doctors that I have mentioned are here for the longer term. "I will miss being a doctor as it has been my life for the past 48 years. I still enjoy what I do and believe that is every day I can help just one person to live a better life than my day has been worthwhile.
"I wish you all well for the future and know that I am leaving you in good hands."
Written by Coastal News, 1 March 2018.