Business North December 2023

110 | COMMUNITY Auckland Radiation Oncology T T Karen Phelps Demand driving ARO expansion The Auckland Radiation Oncology team T T to page 112 Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO) has announced its imminent expansion with the establishment of a new facility on Auckland’s North Shore set to open its doors in 2025. ARO CEO Dr Kate McLellan says this marks a significant stride in the provision of exceptional cancer care for the region, aiming to bring treatment closer to home for numerous patients in need. She says the expansion comes as a response to the burgeoning demand for advanced cancer services in Auckland, given the region’s significant population growth. By extending services to the North Shore, ARO is not only catering to the rising demand for cancer treatment but is also addressing the need for accessible and convenient care. The future facility, strategically located near Apollo and Constellation Drives in Albany, will house two treatment rooms, specialist consultation spaces, ample parking, and provisions for complementary health services in the future. The site’s design is forward thinking, aiming not just to meet current needs but also to ensure on-going growth and innovation in cancer care, says Kate. ARO’s history dates back to 2008, a joint venture, owned and operated by MercyAscot and Southern Cross Healthcare establishing itself as the first private radiation therapy provider in the Auckland region. At that time, around 150 New Zealanders were traveling to Australia annually for radiotherapy due to public hospital capacity constraints. ARO emerged as a response to this unmet need, acknowledging the critical nature of timely cancer treatment. “If you don’t get treatment on time, the consequences can be quite significant with cancer. It’s not something you want to be on a waitlist for,” says Kate. From its purpose-built treatment centre in Epsom, Auckland, ARO treats 70-100 patients daily requiring radiation therapy. The facility is set up so that people can usually see an ARO consultant within a week of being referred. Kate says that ARO is focused on offering people the best treatment options and has recently introduced state-of-the-art CT scanning technology. “The new Canon Aquilion Exceed Large Bore CT scanner, the first of its kind in Australasia, harnesses cutting-edge AI technologies to offer exceptional image quality, aiding medical professionals in precise treatment planning and execution. The new scanner allows tailored treatments with greater accuracy, minimizing risk to healthy tissues,” explains Kate.