10 Jun 2008

New Zealand Defence Force sends medics to Cook Islands

9:36 am on 10 June 2008

A New Zealand Defence Force team of medics has flown to the Cook Islands to provide health support for the people there.

Exercise Tropic Twilight will run for two weeks.

The New Zealand Defence Minister, Phil Goff, says it is both a training exercise for the personnel but is also aimed at making a difference in the lives of the Cook Islanders.

He says the 40 strong team will operate out of Rarotonga.

"They will, among other things, conduct around about 50 surgical cases at Rarotonga public hospital, but they are also doing other things including training of personnel up there - training in advanced cardiac life support courses, as well as, first aid courses for hospital and trainee staff."

Phil Goff says the team will also be offering dental services.