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Better access for patients at Waitakere Hospital

15 August 2013

Better access for patients at Waitakere Hospital as services continue to expand

Hospital services for people living in west Auckland are expanding further with the opening of a new endoscopy suite at Waitakere Hospital this month.

The new suite, which will be officially opened today by Waitakere MP Paula Bennett, will enable Waitemata District Health Board to carry out more than 2000 additional endoscopy procedures, mainly comprised of gastroscopies and colonoscopies.

“Conditions diagnosed and treated through an endoscopic procedure can range from lung infections and pancreatic inflammation to various cancers such as bowel cancer,” says Dr Jonathan Christiansen, Waitemata DHB’s head of division (medicine and health of older people).

The new suite is the DHB’s fourth – and Waitakere Hospital’s second – endoscopy suite.

It complements the DHB’s BowelScreening Pilot, a four year programme to screen Waitemata residents aged 50 to 74 for bowel cancer, New Zealand’s second most common cancer. Diagnostic colonoscopy for those in the pilot is carried out in a dedicated endoscopy suite at Waitakere Hospital.

The first screening programme of its kind in New Zealand, the programme has to date picked up 75 cases of bowel cancer. The results from the pilot will be used by the Government to make a decision on rolling out a national screening programme for bowel cancer.

“The new endoscopy suite marks the continuation of our commitment to providing better access and improved health services to people living in west Auckland,” says Waitemata DHB CEO Dr Dale Bramley.

He says the new suit will provide people living in west Auckland with better local access to endoscopy services, with reduced wait times.

“It will also ensure that Waitakere Hospital becomes an increasing hub for advanced endoscopy procedures.” The $850,000 suite is yet another addition to Waitakere Hospital’s range of facilities and services. Improvements made over recent years include the expansion of the Rangatira paediatric unit and the provision of round-the-clock emergency care at Waitakere Hospital.

Along with this, Waitemata DHB has also invested in a number of one-stop centres in west Auckland offering integrated DHB and primary care services in the community.

Among them include the New Lynn Integrated Family Health Centre, which was recently opened by Prime Minister John Key. Along with services such as a GP and pharmacy, the centre also houses co-located DHB child health services.

Co-located DHB services are also in Te Whanau O Waipareira’s Whanau House in Henderson.

“Having one centre with key services from both our DHB and our healthcare partners ensures that our communities can access any support they may require in one handy convenient location,” says Dr Bramley.

ENDS

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