Vhi has announced the launch of an AllView Healthcare rapid access dermatology service for the diagnosis and treatment of dermatological conditions such as melanoma on an outpatient care basis.
The end-to-end care service will delivered by Vhi using AllView Healthcare technology at a time when there are more than 45,000 people awaiting a dermatology appointment in Ireland, including 43% who have been waiting for six months or more.
“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,” said Dr Rupert Barry, consultant dermatologist and clinical lead for Vhi Dermatology Services.
“This trend is only set to accelerate. That is resulting in considerable wait times for patients looking to access dermatology services in Ireland with one in four having to wait a year or more for treatment.
Vhi Dermatology will use telehealth and digital technologies to meet demand to treat serious skin conditions as well as acne, lesions, sun damage, with cases of melanoma projected to increase 177% among males and 140% among females by 2045.
Teledermatology appointments will be available to 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 dermatology consultants will deliver a diagnosis and treatment plan to manage conditions.
If surgery, biopsy or a face-to-face appointment is required, an AllView Healthcare GP will tell the patient and give them the option of attending the Vhi Dermatology Clinic at Vhi 360 Health Centre in Carrickmines.
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,” said Dr Barry.
“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.”
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.”