Wickham doctor flies out after New Zealand quake

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A HAMPSHIRE GP has flown out to New Zealand as part of a rescue effort following the devastating earthquake.

Basics doctor Deirdre Dunbar will join nine firefighters deployed to the city of Christchurch to help search for survivors.

She is part of an United Kingdom International Search & Rescue team who flew out from Heathrow airport yesterday afternoon, and will provide medical support for the team of firefighters.

Dr Dunbar lives and works at a surgery in Wickham, and is the only volunteer doctor from Hampshire who is accompanying the mission.

Basics Hampshire spokeswoman Jay Andrews said: ‘A number of doctors who have search and rescue training were asked to go, but Dr Dunbar was the only one able to clear herself down of her NHS commitments in time.

‘We don’t expect her to be out for much more than a week, and she will primarily be there to tend to any injuries sustained by the firefighters, so they don’t have to use the host nation’s resources.’

Dr Dunbar will join a 63-strong team from 13 UK fire services, members of which have previously helped during the Haiti earthquake, as well as after disasters in Indonesia and Iran.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on Monday, and so far 75 people have died and more than 300 remain missing.