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West Auckland to benefit from reduced wait times for endoscopies

Wednesday , 21 September 2022 by Nicole Gray

With bowel cancer the second highest cause of cancer deaths in New Zealand, early treatment is essential, with endoscopy an integral part of early cancer detection and diagnosis. Now, West Auckland residents requiring private endoscopy services will have reduced wait times for their appointments.

Waitematā Endoscopy, a joint venture partnership with Southern Cross Healthcare, is aiming to offer patients a confirmed appointment within seven days of a GP or specialist referral. Most standard colonoscopies and gastroscopies are likely to be performed within seven working days at its West Auckland location. The Waitematā Endoscopy team will match patients with the availabilities of their experienced specialists.

Since the opening of its purpose-built Lincoln Road, Henderson clinic in 2020, in addition to its North Harbour clinic, Waitematā Endoscopy has significantly increased its capacity to provide comprehensive endoscopy services. With the opening of a second endoscopy room at the Henderson clinic, patients now have increased access to world-class endoscopy care in West Auckland.

The centres give people with upper gastrointestinal issues, coeliac disease, colon and bowel cancer and irritable bowel disease, access to a highly experienced team of 16 gastroenterologists, surgeons and nurses.

The new endoscopy room at Waitematā Endoscopy West essentially doubles the number of patients who can be treated per year at its facility in West Auckland, significantly reducing wait times and easing the burden on the public health system.

Waitematā Endoscopy aims to deliver an international standard of excellence in endoscopy services for New Zealanders, said Clinical Director Dr Ali Jafer. Dr Jafer was among the first endoscopists to establish the Bowel Screening Pilot at Waitematā District Health Board, which later became part of the National Bowel Screening Programme.

“Our consultants are highly experienced in their field, and work in public and private hospitals,” Dr Jafer said. “With an integrated facility and experienced specialists, we’re able to significantly reduce waiting times in the local community and provide peace of mind to our patients much more quickly,” he added.

Southern Cross Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Chris White said West Auckland’s substantial growth in recent times has made investing in healthcare services to meet increased demand a priority.

“Having modern, purpose-built endoscopy facilities, including a new endoscopy room with the latest technology, nurses’ and patient recovery areas available closer to home, can make a huge difference to local residents. The peace of mind patients have, knowing their wait times for appointments and procedures will reduce, is invaluable and can have a positive impact on health outcomes,” he added.