New Zealand's first private oncology centre turns 10

Fri Nov. 23rd 2018

Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO) has achieved the major milestone of ten years as New Zealand’s first private radiation oncology centre. ARO is a successful joint venture between MercyAscot Hospital and Southern Cross Hospitals.

Established in 2008, ARO has earnt a reputation for driving excellence in radiation treatment, patient care and providing New Zealanders access to worldwide advanced techniques. ARO prides itself in developing highly customised treatment plans for each and every patient. The number of patients ARO treats has increased significantly along with the sophistication of the treatment plans.

In 2002 the New Zealand waiting list for cancer patients needing radiation treatment was three to six months, with up to 150 patients flying to Australia for treatment each year.

During this time Dr Benji Benjamin created a vision. He was the radiation oncology clinical director at Auckland City Hospital and he approached Dr Andrew Wong, Chairman Healthcare Holdings with his vision.

 “I was very concerned and believed something had to be done. Around 20% of patients had private health insurance and I felt a private radiation oncology facility would help both public and private patients,” says Dr Benjamin, clinical director ARO.

 Dr Benjamin adds, “Since ARO opened its’ doors no Auckland based patients have needed to outside Auckland for treatment”.

Over the last ten years ARO believes one of the reasons for their success is how they work with specialists in other medical disciplines. This multidisciplinary approach means the patient is at the heart of everything they do.

“Based on feedback from the medical community and patients we will continue to invest in new technology and our people. We believe we have some of the best people at ARO. The team are incredibly dedicated and professional,” says Dr Wong, Chairman ARO.

Dr Wong adds, “We are very excited about ARO’s future with a new focus to make it easier to access to our services. Watch this space”.

‘This is the beauty of having a little health insurance – takes all pressure away from having first class treatment’, ARO patient survey 2018.

Dr Benjamin has been the medical director ARO, and Dr Wong, Chairman ARO from the start.