The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) has appointed two permanent fulltime ophthalmologists.

Dr Arvind Gupta took up his role in mid-March and Dr Brenda Mulegna is expected to arrive from the United Kingdom within two months.

WDHB chief medical officer Frank Rawlinson said that he was delighted that Whanganui will soon have a fully staffed ophthalmology service.

"There's huge demand for ophthalmologists worldwide, so I think Whanganui and the WDHB should celebrate that Dr Gupta and Dr Mulenga have chosen to live and work here," he said.


Other DHBs throughout New Zealand are struggling to appoint ophthalmologists.

Dr Gupta said he had heard Whanganui is a very nice place to raise a family.

"We have two young children who are excited to experience their first New Zealand winter," he said.

"We've come from Singapore where it is hot all year round. We're looking forward to experiencing four different seasons."

He said one of his first priorities is to reduce the time that Whanganui patients wait for their first consultation.

He is hoping to do the same for MidCentral DHB where he and Dr Mulenga will both work one day a week to widen their professional scope.