Queen’s Service Medals

Despite each receiving a Queen’s Service Medal, the husband and wife team still insist they have not done anything extraordinary.

In 2009 Kantilal and Ranjna Patel were awarded one of the country’s highest accolades when they were named in the New Year’s honour list for services to the Indian community.
 
Dr Patel was instrumental in establishing the first mainstream Primary Health Organisation in South Auckland. It has now grown to 15 clinics Auckland-wide.
 
For the past 35 years he has worked as a GP at the East Tamaki clinic which his wife manages.
 
The Farm Cove couple’s work has enabled many low income families to receive medical services and is the largest healthcare provider for Maori and Pacific people in the country.
“It’s very humbling to be acknowledged,” Mrs Patel says.
“We focused on the basic values we had from the day we went into the medical field,” Dr Patel says.
The largest low cost GP provider in the country has been a finalist for three consecutive years in the Ministry of Health's Health Innovation awards. The couple were also involved in establishing the first Hindi temple in Balmoral and Indian temple in Papatoetoe.
“In order to enhance spirituality you have to do something without selfishness attached,” says Dr Patel.
“The more you give the more you get,” Mrs Patel says.
She established the Manukau Indian Association women’s branch, was a trustee of Otara Health and Total Healthcare Otara, has facilitated culture and language classes, been involved with Indian associations and is chairwoman of the South Asian leadership group.
“I enjoy community work,” says the third generation New Zealander.
Mrs Patel says having her husband also receive an award made the occasion more special. She says they have plans to do a lot more community work and she is focused on South Asian Health programmes such as combating the rise of type two diabetes.
“We are being proactive rather than reactive.”
Through health education programmes the couple have seen the communities’ knowledge increase. Mrs Patel is humble about all the acknowledgement.
“I don’t think we have done anything special.”