Affidea Executive Barry Downes recently featured on Newstalk Breakfast Business with Gavin McLoughlin to discuss growing the ExpressCare Minor Injuries & Illnesses Walk-In Clinic network, with a third facility opening in Northwood in May. ExpressCare is currently open from 10am-10pm, 365 days a year, in Tallaght and Cork. Read part of the interview below or listen back.
1. What kind of ailments does EXPRESSCARE treat?
“We treat all minor injuries and illnesses. About 50% of people who attend an A&E don’t need to be there. A lot of their injuries and ailments can be treated appropriately in a primary care environment. Specifically excluded is falls from height, chest pain, significant trauma. We deal with slips, trips, falls, lacerations, twisted knees, broken fingers – ailments that can happen and can be treated quite easily in a primary care environment.”
2. People can pay per visit or it can be covered with insurance, but how much does it cost?
“The primary consultation for a walk-in is €150. We offer a discount for medical card holders and also, for example, if you’re referred in by your GP. Again, a lot of people that visit their GP are then referred directly to A&E because they need diagnostic scans. We don’t feel it’s fair to have people paying out of pocket for a double hit, so we provide a discount of €50 for people with a referral letter from a primary care physician or anyone with a valid medical card.”
3. What’s your experience with insurance partners?
“The insurance partners that we work with, and we work with all three as well as the ESB and Garda Medical Aid, are very proactive and keen to ensure their members get value from their premiums.”
4. Tell us more about Affidea
“As a Group, we’re present in 16 countries and we’ve over 250 medical centres. We perform over 13 million examinations per year and have three main streams – diagnostics, which is what we’re traditionally known for in Ireland, cancer care and laboratories. In Ireland, with diagnostic imaging we’ve invested significantly over the last number of years and in 2018 treated over 200,000 patients and we’re looking at that number increasing again in 2019.”
5. Is this a luxury product – to visit a private clinic rather than going down to the local A&E?
“The price point to avoid a ten or twelve hour wait in A&E is relative to a fixed charge. With ExpressCare, we give people back time, which I think is critical in today’s environment.”