Major health care boost for Northland, PET-CT scanner clinic to open in Whangārei


Communities in Whangārei and Northland stand to benefit from a major health care boost in terms of immediate and local access to advanced imaging technology, which is a fundamental part of diagnosis and treatment. cancer treatment.

Auckland Radiology Group (ARG) is delighted to announce the opening of a new purpose-built radiology clinic in Whangārei in mid-2023.

The clinic will be equipped with the latest technology, including a high-tech scanner for positron emission tomography (PET-CT) as well as state-of-the-art MRI, CT, X-ray and ultrasound equipment. .

Auckland Radiology’s clinical director, Dr Steve Merrilees, notes that removing barriers to patient access to healthcare has become a key objective for the ARG.

“At present, Northland patients who need a PET-CT must travel to Auckland for this essential service. For patients who are already feeling unwell, it can be a daunting and time-consuming journey to undertake, so we decided to bring the service closer to the people we serve.”

“The pandemic has shown us that there are many reasons why our patients cannot access the healthcare they need. Patients will not only benefit from increased local access to this essential PET-CT scanner, but will also benefit from minimal wait times. for faster appointments and diagnostic results, allowing their primary care specialist to provide the best healthcare treatment plans possible. »

“A PET-CT scanner is an essential tool in the diagnosis and management of many advanced cancers, including melanoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer,” says Dr. Merrilies.

The Auckland Radiology Group is part of the RHCNZ Medical Imaging Group alongside Bay Radiology and Pacific Radiology. The group has an impressive range of radiology expertise and all three companies are renowned for their commitment to delivering world-class radiology locally.

With over 140 radiologists working across the country and 32 locally based to support communities in Auckland and Northland, patients can rest assured knowing that when needed, highly specialized expertise is on their doorstep.

Dr Vanessa Blair, General and Breast Surgeon in the Far North, who practices in Auckland, Whangarei and Keri Keri, said: “This announcement from Auckland Radiology is great news for patients at Te Tai Tokerau Northland, who until present were to travel to Auckland for this more sensitive scanning technology at the cutting edge of modern individualized care for cancer patients. It’s so good to see this service available closer to my patients’ homes, which also saves them travel costs and inconvenience.

“ARG has an excellent reputation for high quality imaging. Having an option locally will help ease the journey for patients and their families through their cancer diagnosis, investigations and management,” says Dr. Blair.

Dr Blair, who is the new president of the New Zealand Association of General Surgeons, noted that “equity of access for people living in the New Zealand region is not just an issue in the public sector, but also in the private sector, and having better access to high quality imaging at the local level is a win-win for improving cancer care”.

Mary Grigor, Managing Director ARG, Auckland and Northern is very pleased to confirm that detailed planning is underway for the new specialist clinic in Whangārei.

“We have specifically chosen a centralized location in Whangārei, providing easy access to highly advanced imaging radiology services for local patients, their whānau and those traveling through the northern regions. We are pleased to be able to provide a increased regional capacity to support our physician colleagues in the early detection and ongoing management of a patient’s care journey”.

Comprehensive radiology services available from the new clinic in Whangārei will include: PET-CT, MRI, CT, Ultrasound – general, obstetrics and musculoskeletal; x-ray imaging and specialist interventional services such as musculoskeletal injections – particularly beneficial in injury recovery management plans.

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