Abano’s Diagnostics sector includes Aotea Pathology, a medical diagnostics laboratory in Wellington, and two radiology businesses in Auckland. The businesses provided 19 percent of Abano’s group revenue.

Abano has a 55 percent shareholding in Aotea Pathology, a joint venture with Sonic Healthcare. The business is into its third year of a five year $102 million fixed-price contract for community pathology in the wider Wellington region with a stable management team, a newly merged laboratory and effective systems in place.

In Radiology, Abano owns 73 percent of Ascot Radiology which operates from three sites in Auckland, and 80 percent of Insight Radiology, a specialist obstetric radiology clinic with two clinics in Auckland, which was acquired in November 2008.

The last 12 months for Ascot Radiology have seen a focus on establishing new imaging facilities and Abano has invested in the latest generation equipment and technologies across the radiology businesses to ensure the best possible diagnostic care.

In 2009, a new 3 Tesla MRI was installed in Ascot Radiology’s existing clinic, enhancing diagnostic ability and patient care. This compliments the 3 Tesla MRI installed in the new Ascot Central clinic which was opened in June 2008. In addition to a full range of diagnostic services, the Ascot Central clinic also offers state of the art breast imaging in association with Breast Associates, a group of pre-eminent breast surgeons. The next twelve months will be a time of consolidation for Ascot Radiology as the business maximises efficiencies across the two expanded clinics. Greenlane Imaging, also owned by Ascot Radiology, continues to provide selected services from its clinical location in Greenlane Hospital.

In November 2008, Abano acquired 80 percent of Insight Radiology, with the clinical founder, Dr Richard Davis, holding the remaining 20 percent. Over the next year, Abano plans to sell down its holding to 70 percent, through the introduction of new Specialist and Radiologist partners into the Insight business. Insight Radiology is a highly regarded specialist 4D ultrasound obstetric practice with two clinics in Auckland.

While Aotea Pathology has a hold strategy in place due to its reliance on a five-year Government contract, the radiology market offers considerable opportunity for expansion through acquisition and extension of services.

Operational Performance

Operational Performance

* After allocation of corporate overhead
1. Sale of Nelson Diagnostics and establish Aotea Pathology
2. Ascot Radiology and Greenlane Imaging changed from associates to subsidiaries


Highlights and Achievements for 2009

  • Business volumes under fixed prices contract contained at a reasonable level
  • Outstanding result from the industry accreditation body (IANZ)
  • Contained costs despite weakening NZ dollar against other currencies which have forced consumable price increases
  • Implementation of screening for HIV with antenatal testing
  • Successful internal processes implemented in leadership training and performance development
  • Development of IT based error tracking system and implementation of process for immediate audit of data entry to minimise clinically significant errors

Focus for 2010

  • Successfully introduce new testing opportunities for Human papilloma virus (HPV) and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Evaluation of automated cervical cytology screening
  • Investigation of electronic test requesting to reduce manual data entry and associated error
  • Continue to develop test request guidelines to manage test demand
  • Enhance patient and referrer communications


Highlights and Achievements for 2009

  • Major upgrade of imaging facilities
  • Opened specialised breast imaging centre at Ascot Central in June 2008 with Mayor John Banks officiating
  • Recruited new staff and Shareholder Radiologists to operate the specialist breast imaging service at Ascot Central
  • Exchanged 1.5 Tesla MRI Scanner at Ascot Radiology’s existing clinic for a new 3 Tesla MRI
  • Redevelopment of IT system

Focus for 2010

  • Increase Radiologist staff servicing the breast imaging centre
  • Introduce Associate Radiologists into shareholding with Ascot Radiology
  • Further development of IT systems including conversion to a paperless department, and development of an Information Intranet
  • Replacement of two ultrasound machines with latest generation equipment
  • Open new clinical facility adjacent to the Ascot Central Radiology clinic


Highlights and Achievements for 2009

  • Abano acquired 80 percent of Insight Radiology in November 2008
  • Invested in a new 4D Ultrasound scanner

Focus for 2010

  • Continue to enhance and improve speciality obstetric ultrasound offer
  • Continue to promote Pregnancy Ultrasound Package
  • Introduction of inhouse first trimester blood screening