Sapphire Clinic is one of those gems we sometimes stumble across without fully realising what we’ve discovered because it is unique in that it offers such a broad array of services.
Owned by Kiwi-born Dr Garsing Wong and his wife Dr Margaret Wen-Pei Chen, Sapphire Clinic incorporates a general medical practice, cosmetic medicine, hair transplants, fat freezing and a homegrown skincare range.
“Pioneering is in our spirit,” says Garsing. “We were the first to bring facial shaping to Auckland, the first to do calf shaping, and the first to do fat dissolving/botox combination. We now use a proprietary medicine called Belkyra.”
“I read, summarise and take it to Garsing and say ‘shall we do this?’” adds Margaret who was also the first person in the country to treat acne scarring using a specific laser. The clinic uses Botox for facial shaping, to treat excessive sweating and migraines as well as lines and wrinkles, and it also provides other cosmetic medicine modalities like injectable fillers, PRP and laser.
Dr Garsing Wong
Garsing began his medical training in Auckland and after three years took the unusual step of taking a two-year gap to trek the Himalayas, and work in the UK, Switzerland and with the destitute in India. “My first night in the UK I slept on a park bench to save money,” Garsing laughs. “I’d be horrified if my kids did the same thing – doing those things probably shaped me as a doctor; I’m a registered practitioner in the UK and Switzerland as well.”
In addition to his GP practice, Garsing performs all of the cosmetic and medical grade treatments at the clinic. He also teaches fifth-year medical students, is an examiner for the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care, plus he has a special interest in sexual health. “I have presented at HIV conferences and I have special dispensation from Pharmac to apply directly for Special Authority for PrEP prescriptions.” he says. “I’m well known in the gay community.” It started from the cosmetic side of things because the old HIV medication used to lead to a gaunt face.”
Dr Margaret Chen
Taiwanese-born Margaret conducts the consultations for the appearance medicine and laser treatments plus she’s the founder of Monalinda skincare range. “Margaret’s a higher qualified doctor than I am,” says Garsing “She’s got a doctorate and I’ve only got a bachelor, but she’s not registered in New Zealand.”
The pair met while Margaret was here on holiday in 1996 and made the decision to prioritise having a family over Margaret’s Kiwi medical registration. She finished her medical doctorate in Beijing; they married in 1997 and had two sons. “I tell all of my patients your biggest investment is your marriage, you lose that you lose everything,” says Garsing.
It’s certainly worked for Margaret and Garsing as they’ve built their successful practice. “We work well together because Margaret’s always pushing the boundaries of what we can do and I’ve got a more conservative approach,” says Garsing. “I think our two kids are our biggest achievement though. Borway’s in the sixth form at Grammar, and Borson’s in his first year in health science at Otago. Two beautiful boys.”