What is Rheumatology?
Rheumatology is the specialty of medicine that includes arthritis and autoimmune diseases.
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. A joint is where two or more bones meet and move in relation to each other. They are separated by a rubbery substance called cartilage which is smooth and slippery, allowing for easy movement.
Autoimmune disease is where an abnormality in the immune system leads to the body’s defence harming its own cells by mistake.
A rheumatologist is a doctor who has specialised in this area of medicine.
Rheumatology Services Provided by Northland DHB
Specialist Rheumatology clinics are run twice a month and a visiting rheumatologist from Counties Manukau attends. Some forms of arthritis can be managed by general physicians and as the number of appointments for the rheumatologist is limited, patients may be seen by general physicians - either for their first visits or follow ups. Rheumatology clinics are only provided at Whangarei Hospital.