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06th Dec 2023

Groundbreaking Skin Cancer service being blocked by up to two thirds of dermatology departments

Sophie Collins

AllView Healthcare’s state-of-the-art skin cancer service has emerged as a beacon of hope for rapid treatment in Ireland.

However, despite its success in Dublin hospitals, this innovative technology has faced unexpected hurdles, with over two-thirds of national dermatology departments yet to fully implement it.

AllView Healthcare, led by CEO Eoin O’Reilly, provides advanced skin cancer and medical skin treatment services using cutting-edge technology.

However, despite attempts to initiate the service over the past year, key figures within some dermatology departments are halting it.

Dublin hospitals, including St. James’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, have successfully employed AllView’s Teledermatology service and have significantly reduced waiting lists by treating over 15,000 HSE patients in the last two years.

AllView Healthcare’s commitment to addressing the growing demand is evident in the renewal of its HSE contract, extending its capacity for an additional 20,000 patients in 2024.

Former Director General of the HSE, Mr. Tony O’Brien, plays a crucial role in maintaining patient-focused best practice compliance within the organisation.

Despite these successes, the overall public patient waiting list for first-time dermatology appointments has surged, and is now reportedly at 54,488.

Over 10,000 patients are waiting more than 12 months for their initial appointment, which further highlights the pressing need for more efficient solutions.

AllView Healthcare’s CEO, Mr. O’Reilly, said there is a significant gap between awarded public contracts and the actual number of patients being referred to the service.

“It is shocking that a few key staff within any department hold the power to block patients access to such service and stopping the hospital management from deploying such a modern and proven service like ours, when their current waiting time to see a patient is several years duration,” he said.

“We have local nationwide clinics where we can see and treat patients. We have had over 100 melanoma patients last year, with Breslow thickness of our cancer patients the lowest in the country at 0.68mm, proving early access to care have lifesaving outcomes for patients.”

These roadblocks, which allegedly come from key staff within dermatology departments in Ireland are standing in the way of the deployment of this modern and effective service.

Even with a recent contract from VHI Healthcare, offering appointments within ten days and rapid consultations with treatment, AllView Healthcare is still facing challenges in making a substantial impact due to insufficient patient referrals.

Dr. Rupert Barry, Consultant Dermatologist from St James’s Hospital and AllView Healthcare co-founder, underscored the importance of early detection in treating skin cancer effectively.

“Early detection of skin cancer leads to far better outcomes,” he said.

“The most obvious warning signs of skin cancer are a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth, a sore that will not heal, a new and changing mole, or a change in appearance of an existing mole’ you should go to your GP with this immediately.”

Despite being curable in 98% of cases through early detection, the current obstacles prevent many patients from accessing this timely care.

As AllView Healthcare strives to contribute significantly to reducing public dermatology waiting lists, the road ahead involves overcoming resistance within dermatology departments.

The company’s nationwide clinics and proven track record underscore the urgency of addressing these challenges to ensure life-saving treatment is available for patients battling skin cancer.

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