Alice, John, Dr John Perry, Dr Ratna Pandey, Sihaam, Mr Siraj Rajaratnam, Dr Ali Jafer, Jhoanna, Mr Jason Robertson, and Dr Cameron Schauer

Southern Cross Healthcare Waitemata Endoscopy marks 16 years of service

Tuesday , 28 November 2023 by Carolyn Brooke

Waitematā Endoscopy marks 16 years of serving the community across the Waitematā area this month.

Clinical Director Dr Ali Jafer says the organisation delivers not only an international standard of service to the community but peace of mind through working very hard to reduce patient waiting times.

“With purpose-built clinics and experienced specialists at Waitematā Endoscopy we’re able to significantly reduce waiting times and provide peace of mind to not only patients but their family and whānau, as well as the referrer, much more quickly,” Dr Jafer said.

“Our doctors work in public and private hospitals and are highly experienced in their field.”

Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the gut using a thin tube and light that is minimally invasive for patients. Commonly referred to as a “top and tail,” the “top” is a Gastroscopy, when the tube or scope is inserted through the mouth. The “tail” is a Colonoscopy, where the scope is to get a good look at the colon or large bowel.

For bowel health, it is an integral part of early diagnosis and treatment as bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in New Zealand (more than breast and prostate cancer combined). However, bowel cancer is preventable and treatable if detected early enough.

“We can now offer patients a confirmed endoscopy appointment for most standard colonoscopy and gastroscopy procedures within seven days of a GP or specialist referral. Within the current environment of long wait times, this provides certainty as well as peace of mind for patients so that they can plan and come prepared,” Dr Jafer said.

Waitematā Endoscopy is a joint venture partnership with Southern Cross Healthcare. The service provides people with upper gastrointestinal issues, reflux, coeliac disease, colon/bowel cancer symptoms, and irritable bowel disease, access to a highly experienced team made up of 16 gastroenterologists and surgeons with international and public experience, supported by a compassionate nursing team.

Waitematā Endoscopy has also grown and developed a lot over its 16 years. Starting at its North Shore location in Wairau Valley, a second purpose-built clinic opened on Lincoln Road, Henderson in 2020 with the opening of a second endoscopy room last year at the Henderson clinic. This essentially doubles the capacity for patients who can be treated and has reduced wait times for people across Auckland.

Southern Cross Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Chris White says Waitematā’s population growth in recent years made it a priority to invest in the area’s healthcare services to meet increased demand.

“For people living in the Waitematā, having a purpose-built facility that offers comfort and expertise in accessing endoscopy that is so close to home can make a huge difference,” Chris said.

“At what can be a vulnerable time, reduced wait times for appointments and procedures can give peace of mind to patients and we know this is invaluable especially as it can have a positive impact on health outcomes.”

Starting with six doctors in 2007, today Waitematā Endoscopy is very proud of its roots, and on its 16th birthday, it now celebrates with a highly experienced team of 16 doctors, to serve the community even better.