Two of New Zealand and the world’s leading cardiologists came together in mid-September to carry out the first procedure at a new state-of-the art, multi-disciplinary medical facility on the North Shore.
North Shore-based Dr Seif El-Jack and Medical Director of Intra, Professor John Ormiston, joined forces to undertake the first case at the new facility, which was officially opened on 13th September. The 60-minute procedure involved coronary angiography and unblocking an artery with a stent. Seif El-Jack says that far from feeling apprehensive about being the first patient in a new facility, the patient was very happy to have his treatment at Intra as it was much more convenient for him and his family.
John Ormiston says, “It was exciting to undertake the first procedure in our new facility, and I am so pleased to have worked with Seif as he is a great interventional cardiologist. The procedure went extremely well for the patient, and the new angiography suite passed its first big test with flying colours.”
Intra was previously called Mercy Angiography, and the name change coincides with the opening of the new facility on the North Shore. “Our new facility is a symbol of our new name. Intra is all about providing image-guided healthcare across a range of medical disciplines – interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, and interventional oncology. We look within, shining a light inside the patient to identify what needs to happen, and then taking minimally-invasive steps when treating; safer procedures that promote quicker and easier patient recovery.”
John Ormiston has been called the “father of interventional cardiology” in this country and is highly regarded internationally. Last year he received the Ethica Award, the highest honour of the European cardiovascular intervention academies.
Seif El-Jack is a general and interventional cardiologist based at Auckland’s North Shore where he is the lead interventional cardiologist at the cardiovascular unit at the Waitemata DHB, and leads a busy interventional cardiology research programme at North Shore Hospital. He is current chair of the New Zealand Cardiovascular Interventions Group within the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. He also does pro-bono work as part of an Australia-New Zealand ‘visiting team’ helping a fledgling interventional cardiology service in Fiji, and is currently preparing for his eighth annual visit later this year.
Intra is located within the Southern Cross Hospital northern clinic complex on Wairau Road. It is designed as a day-stay facility, with assessment, treatment and recovery facilities in a light, contemporary environment that helps manage stress levels and ensures speedy recovery times. Should a patient require overnight care, they can easily be transferred to Southern Cross Hospital.
John Ormiston told Channel there is nothing like this facility in the world. Intra is equipped with state-of-the-art design and technology - even including a starry Matariki night sky in the angiography suite to help patients relax. It includes the latest imaging and haemodynamic equipment, is staffed by leading specialists and allows patients to be evaluated, treated and recover in the one place, simply by moving from room to room. The recovery room, with specially designed furniture, has expansive views over Wairau Valley to Rangitoto.
Intra has been established to serve the rapidly growing North Shore and Northland areas, and John and Seif told Channel that local patients, GPs and related specialists are delighted that this service exists at North Harbour. Many patients – and their families – welcome not having to cross the bridge for treatment.
Intra can offer a range of different procedures across different medical disciplines such as cardiology, vascular, oncology, urology and gynaecology. Patients are referred to Intra by their referring doctors such as cardiologists, GPs, oncologists, urologists or vascular surgeons.
“Our aim was to create the best interventional facility in the world,” says John Ormiston, “and we have achieved that. We want patients to have the best treatment and the best experience. Patients are here for the entire [assessment and treatment] journey and the environment we have created helps people tolerate a time that is stressful for them.”