Labour MP reveals mystery health scare, 'worsening' symptoms

Author
Nikki Preston, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 15 Nov 2021, 1:47PM
Hamilton West Labour MP Dr Gaurav Sharma's worsening headaches have made it hard for him to communicate with constituents via social media. (Photo / Supplied)
Hamilton West Labour MP Dr Gaurav Sharma's worsening headaches have made it hard for him to communicate with constituents via social media. (Photo / Supplied)

Labour MP reveals mystery health scare, 'worsening' symptoms

Author
Nikki Preston, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 15 Nov 2021, 1:47PM

Hamilton West's Labour MP has suffered a health scare after suffering from worsening headaches, neck pain and an unexplained lump.

Dr Gaurav Sharma is the second sitting politician to suffer a major health setback this year after East Coast MP Kiri Allan was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April.

The first-term MP this morning apologised to constituents for being absent from social media, saying headache symptoms he had experienced over the past few months had got increasingly worse.

The 34-year-old is also experiencing neck pain and an unexplained lump has recently appeared.

The trained doctor is now awaiting the results of a CT scan in the next few weeks.

He has already had two other ultrasound scans.

Sharma told the Herald he wanted to be transparent with his constituents, but so far had only needed to take a couple of days' leave when the symptoms had got too bad or he had an appointment.

"It's the symptoms that are affecting me. It's the head and neck pain which are making it difficult to sleep or sometimes sit in a meeting."

The symptoms came and went, but were especially bad at night, he said. However he had no plans to take extended leave at this stage and for the most part was still there for constituents.

Sharma thanked friends and family for their support and his parliamentary colleagues for "stepping in for him when his symptoms haven't allowed".

He also made a point of saying the symptoms had started in June - months before he got his first Covid-19 vaccination at the end of August.

"In the past as a doctor, every time I have found myself on the other side of the healthcare system, it has made me appreciate its intricacies and how they affect my own patients even more. This has been no different and is always a humbling experience."

Sharma has only held the Hamilton West seat for just over a year after winning it from incumbent National MP Tim Macindoe by more than 6000 votes in last year's election.

Prior to winning the election, he worked as general practitioner in Nawton in Hamilton.