Dr Bryan Betty awarded top honour for contribution to general practice

9 August 2021


Dr Bryan Betty (pictured right), a Wellington GP and Medical Director of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners has been awarded the College’s top honour of Distinguished Fellowship.

This honour is awarded to GPs who have demonstrated sustained contributions to general practice, medicine, or the health and wellbeing of the community.

This year marks 15 years of practice for Dr Betty at the Porirua Union and Community Health Service in Cannons Creek. With a largely Māori and Pacific population, and high number of refugees, around 90 per cent of his patients have quite complex health needs. 

Equity, and issues such as access to quality healthcare for everyone, have been strong motivators throughout his career.

His commitment to tackling health inequities goes far beyond his clinical work. Dr Betty has long been vocal about New Zealand’s high rates of Rheumatic fever and Type 2 diabetes. Both illnesses affect the most vulnerable populations in our communities. 

Dr Samantha Murton (pictured left), College President says, “Dr Betty’s dedication to delivering equitable health outcomes is demonstrated on so many levels. From his work in Cannons Creek through to his advocacy at the highest level. 

“Dr Betty continually strives to do the best by his patients, and by his colleagues. His commitment to our profession makes him a very deserving recipient of this honour.”

In his two years as the College’s Medical Director, Dr Betty has quickly become a trusted advisor and fierce advocate for its 5,500 members. He provides clinical advice and guidance on policy and medicolegal issues and represents the College and its members on various health sector committees.

During the heat of the global pandemic, Dr Betty was the calm and collected voice of the COVID-19 response team and an advisor on the government’s COVID-19 response committee. His advice, guidance, and support helped to steer the nation's team of GPs through a time of great uncertainty. 

He is an articulate and informed spokesperson for the College, speaking regularly on issues affecting the GP workforce and patient care to advocate for positive change. In his time as Medical Director, Dr Betty has significantly raised the profile of general practice. 

This year, six GPs received Distinguished Fellowship at the College’s conference in Wellington.