Aarti Patel

General Manager


I was born in Durban, South Africa and relocated to Dunedin, New Zealand in 2003.  I am a registered pharmacist in South Africa where I trained and also completed my masters’ degree. My journey through the pharmacy world remains an interesting and varied one. It began with manufacturing the medicine (SA Pharmaceutical Industry) to managing the medicine in patients (Community and Hospital practices) to developing practitioners (academic positions at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and Otago) to the broader public health system. Guiding me along this journey has been the principle of improving access to healthcare, with a specific focus on medicines. 

In 2009, after receiving my doctorate from the University of Otago, we returned to southern Africa (SA and Botswana) where I took on the role of Technical Adviser to the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Pharmaceutical Programme. During this period I joined hera: Right to Health and Development (www.hera.eu), a Belgium-based, health consultancy firm, as a partner. This partnership has allowed me to undertake consultancies in east and southern Africa, and Nepal, in pharmaceutical policy reform and evaluations. 

We returned to Dunedin in 2014 where I continued with consultancy work. I was looking for opportunities to use the skills I have developed over the years when the position of General Manager: CCPG came up. Supporting Community Pharmacists to deliver pharmaceutical care that contributes to improved health outcomes in the primary care environment is what attracted me to this role. The forward thinking, innovative and positive spirit I continue to experience in all of my engagements with the People of Canterbury to date further fuels my excitement for my new role as General Manager: CCPG. 

Travelling, meeting people, experiencing different cultures food, music and dancing are social activities that keep me going. We are looking forward to this next phase in our lives – not quite the empty nest syndrome but the different beginnings. 

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