GP known for his kindness

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014
Philip Rushmer
FAMILY MAN: Philip Rushmer dedicated his time to serving the community but also enjoyed spending time with his loved ones.

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Philip Rushmer is described by family as the glue that held everyone together.

The 72-year-old general practitioner not only dedicated his time to helping the community but was a devoted family man as well, his wife Penny says.

Dr Rushmer lost a seven-year battle with cancer on Monday, February 3 at his Titirangi home, surrounded by family.

He worked tirelessly on behalf of West Auckland patients for more than 30 years and joined the general practice at Golf Road Medical Centre in 1976.

Mrs Rushmer says her husband was a selfless man and "happy to work with anyone at any time".

"He worked very hard in the west and the most over-riding part of his personality was his kindness.

"His family was everything to him - he was the glue really," she says.

The father of three and grandfather of four loved playing golf, tennis and "gave everything a go", Mrs Rushmer says.

Dr Rushmer graduated from Guys' Hospital, London, in 1966 and emigrated to New Zealand in 1976.

His efforts in the medical profession were recognised in 2012 when he became a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

He was chairman of HealthWest from 2007 until a week before his death and of the NZ Medical Association General Practice Council until 2001.

Dr Rushmer was one of the four founding doctors of Health New Lynn after Golf Road Medical Centre amalgamated with Kinross Family Medical Centre, New Lynn Medical Centre and Titirangi Family Health Care last year.

Health New Lynn's chief executive Greg Clarke says his colleague had a never-ending compassion for what he did.

"He was a strong advocate for his patients and wasn't afraid to share his thoughts," Mr Clarke says.

A funeral will be held this Sunday, 2pm at Henderson's Central Park Chapel.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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