Vhi today announced the launch of a new rapid access Dermatology service for the diagnosis and treatment of most dermatological conditions on an outpatient care basis.
Delivered in partnership with AllView Healthcare, Vhi’s Dermatology service provides end-to-end care for the diagnosis and treatment of medical dermatological conditions including common skin conditions such as acne, lesions, sun damage and melanoma – the most serious skin cancer.
With lengthy wait times for accessing dermatology services, Vhi’s new Dermatology service offers one of the fastest routes to medical dermatology treatment nationwide, with appointments available within ten days for Vhi members. Currently there are more 45,000 people awaiting a dermatology appointment in Ireland with 43% waiting for 6 months or more.
By leveraging cutting-edge telehealth and digital technologies, Vhi Dermatology offers a new path to help meet the demand to treat serious skin conditions. Currently every year in Ireland, over 1,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer the most common cancer in Ireland. By 2045, it is projected that the number of cases of melanoma diagnosed among males will increase by 177% and among females will increase by 140%.
New dermatology research commissioned by Vhi shows that 1 in 4 respondents are currently concerned about the impact of sun damage on their skin. Serious skin conditions also appear to be having a negative impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Close to half (47%) of those surveyed reported that they suffered stress and anxiety as a direct result of having a skin condition.
Dr Rupert Barry, Consultant Dermatologist and Clinical Lead for Vhi Dermatology Services said: “Over recent years, there has been a growing incidence of skin cancer and other skin conditions with an increasing number of patients requiring end-to-end care from diagnosis to surgical excision. This trend is only set to accelerate. That is resulting in considerable wait times for patients looking to access dermatology services in Ireland with 1 in 4 having to wait a year or more for treatment.
“The launch of the Vhi Dermatology service will help give patients access to the care they need, when they need it. By cutting lengthy waiting times, we can rapidly diagnose patients with skin cancer who may be currently waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist and treat patients with skin conditions as quickly as possible.
“Tackling long wait lists and providing timely access to care will be pivotal to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of the population. By providing appointments to patients within days our service provides a faster and more effective approach to the management of skin conditions.”
Teledermatology appointments are available for Vhi members nationwide at AllView Healthcare Clinics and use specialist imaging equipment to record a series of high definition microscopic and macroscopic images of the skin complaint.
Following an initial appointment, AllView’s network of dermatology consultants deliver a diagnosis and treatment plan to manage conditions quickly and effectively. If surgery, biopsy or a face-to-face appointment is subsequently required, the AllView Healthcare GP will explain this to the patient and give them the fast access option of attending the Vhi Dermatology Clinic at Vhi 360 Health Centre, in Carrickmines, County Dublin.
Commenting on the opening of services, Eoin O’Reilly, CEO of AllView Healthcare said: “With demand growing for dermatology services across the country we’re proud to partner with Vhi to support comprehensive access for Vhi members to better dermatology care and treatment. The new service will provide an unparalleled patient experience and help provide peace of mind to patients.
“By joining forces, Vhi and AllView Healthcare can provide the fastest route to dermatology treatment in Ireland, delivering appointments, accurate diagnoses, and treatment plans to patients within days, rather than months.”
The Vhi Dermatology Service is one of a number of new services brought by Vhi to its members in recent times as it continues to innovate in the delivery of healthcare – specifically through the introduction of new facilities and services such as Vhi Women’s Health Clinic, Vhi Paediatric Clinic, Vhi Sports, Exercise and Musculoskeletal Medicine Clinic in Vhi 360 Health Centres, digital and tele-health services, Vhi Hospital@Home, Vhi Health Screening, Vhi Midwife Support Service and Vhi’s National Clinical Call Centre.