What we do

Rheumatology Associates is the longest serving private adult rheumatology specialist provider in Christchurch. Situated in a new purpose built facility (Sports Doctors), we are a dedicated team of two rheumatologists, Dr Estella Yeo and Dr Rafi Raja. We are here to assist with the diagnosis, management and ongoing care of rheumatological conditions, which are often chronic and can have significant impact on daily activities and work. We liaise with your GP and also with other specialists when required to provide optimal care.

Autoimmune inflammatory disorders

We consult on all autoimmune inflammatory disorders, including but not exclusive to the following:  rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, vasculitis and myositis. 

Crystal arthritis

These are a group of inflammatory conditions caused by excessive crystals formation in joints and soft tissues, e.g. gout and pseudogout (calcium pyrophosphate disease). 

Autoimmune connective tissue disorders

The most common types of connective tissue disorders we come across include systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, mixed connective tissue disease and scleroderma.


Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most prevalent chronic joint condition we review. 

Who we are

Meet the team

Dr Estella Yeo


Dr Estella Yeo graduated with an MBChB from the University of Otago in 2011 and completed her training in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine at Christchurch Hospital in 2020. She is interested and consults in all areas of rheumatological practice. She strives to provide the best personalised care for each of her patients. Born in Singapore, Estella is now a proud Kiwi who calls Christchurch and New Zealand home - alongside her husband, Steve, and lovely daughter, Sophie.

Dr Rafi Raja

MBChB (NZ), FRACP (NZ), Clinical Research Fellowship (UK)

Dr Rafi Raja studied medicine at the University of Auckland and graduated in 2002. He trained as a rheumatologist in New Zealand, completing his training in Christchurch in 2011, before pursuing a Clinical Research Fellowship in the UK in the area of osteoarthritis. He worked as a rheumatology consultant at Christchurch Hospital between 2014 and 2021, and also held the position of Senior Clinical Lecturer with the University of Otago during that time.   With a busy household of five school aged children, Rafi and his wife, Belinda, are happily settled in North Canterbury.  


A referral from your GP, specialist or other healthcare provider is required before an initial consultation (up to 60 minutes long) can be booked with us.

Referrals will be triaged into

    • Urgent: These patients will be seen within 3 weeks due to organ threatening conditions, such as vasculitis or giant cell arteritis.
    • Semi-urgent: These patients have high likelihood of or confirmed inflammatory conditions where early treatment is likely to provide long-term benefits. We aim to see them within 3 months.
    • Semi-routine: These are referrals where there is a low likelihood of any inflammatory condition. We have limited capacity to see these patients currently.
    • Routine: We are unable to accept routine referrals currently as well due to a high demand and limited capacity. Examples of routine referrals include: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, long covid and Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS)

Dr Marina Sew Hoy retired from consulting in January 2022. She is very grateful to Rheumatology Associates for continuing to serve Christchurch and Canterbury. Following her retirement, former patients of Dr Sew Hoy are most welcome to continue their care with Rheumatology Associates.


For new, re-referral and follow-up patients, please contact reception for up-to-date fees.

  • Insurance pre-approvals for Southern Cross Health Society members can be arranged.
  • Please note that we are not ACC-affiliated.

For repeat prescriptions outside an appointment, a fee of $35 per prescription will apply.

  • Please contact reception or your rheumatologist directly. The script will be sent directly to your pharmacy.


Where to find us

Level 1, 136 Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch 8011 (in the Sports Doctors Building)
Monday to Friday: 8am - 5pm
EDI : averheum

Please note that all referals to our team must come through your GP.