As featured in The Irish Independent.
BOTH Irish Life Health and Laya Healthcare have announced their members will get deals on treatment of minor injuries at new clinics being built.
The move comes after Vhi restricted access from the start of this month to the SwiftCare walk-in emergency care clinics to those with a policy with Vhi.
Now Irish Life Health members will be able to get reduced rates when they use Affidea’s minor injury clinics, opening later this year in Cork and Dublin.
Irish Life Health says it will be the first health insurer to cover all Affidea Express Care diagnostic centres and offer reduced rate for consultations, at €100. This is a 33pc discount on the standard consultation fee.
Laya said its 580,000 members will also have access to the new Affidea clinics being built in Dublin and Cork. Laya Healthcare will reimburse between 50pc and 75pc of the initial fee across many of its schemes. Other schemes will allow a monetary amount to be put towards the outpatient excess.
The first of the urgent-care clinics will open in Cork and Dublin in December this year, and will be open to all members of the public. The Dublin clinic will be in Tallaght Cross East, Dublin 24, with the Cork one located at The Elysian.
More Affidea clinics are expected in Galway and Limerick in 2018, expanding its additional services to all clinics nationwide by 2020. The clinics will be available to treat a full range of minor injuries. Each clinic will have access to the latest and more modern diagnostic services on-site including MRI, ultrasound, CT and plain X-ray.
Managing director of Irish Life Health Jim Dowdall said: “When it comes to treating minor injuries and illnesses, it is important for our members and their families to have an alternative to visiting busy hospital accident and emergency units. They will soon have access to Affidea Express Care Clinics for a range of treatments.”
The walk-in clinics will open from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year, with no appointment required for urgent care. The clinics aim to treat patients within one hour, and will treat young children from 12 months onwards.
Managing director of Laya Healthcare Dónal Clancy the tie-up was welcome news for members, and for all those with and without health insurance. He said Laya and Affidea have ambitions to transform rapid-access minor injury and illness clinical care in Ireland.
The VHI has announced that from September 1 its three SwiftCare clinics – two in Dublin and one in Cork – will be available only to its policyholders. SwiftCare is a walk-in, urgent care clinic which deals with minor injuries. The clinics were established to help patients avoid crowded A&E departments. Until last month they have been open to the public, though all patients have to pay for their services.
The VHI, which bought out full ownership of the clinics from co-owner Centric Healthcare, said the decision to restrict access was to “ensure speed of access for VHI customers” to the facilities.
— Barry Downes (@DownesBarry) September 19, 2017