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VHI Swiftcare Clinics: What's the point?

  • 20-04-2015 3:37pm
    #1
    Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,338 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy


    Do any of you ever attend these clinics? How do you find them?

    I've been twice now to the clinic in Swords, and my partner has been once.

    1st visit, I had terrible neck pains, could barely move my neck. Doctor asked me to move my arms and them gave me a prescription for some pain killers - €50

    2nd visit, I had a severe pain in my ankle/foot which made it almost impossible to walk, had been getting worse over 2/3 days so visited the clinic, Dr. had a look, took an X-Ray & prescribed pain killers - €145

    3rd visit (my OH) - severe pain down her right leg over the last week or 2, pi$$ed off taking pain killers, went in, had an X-ray, Dr. said to take pain killers and if no improvement, come back in a few days. - €145 (x2) - She was charged twice.

    Has anyone ever actually been treated or correctly diagnosed in one of these clinic?
    We've been 3 times now, and each time, the solution was.... pain killers (and expensive X-rays).
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Administrators Posts: 33,521 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ dudara


    Medical care doesn't fall under Consumer Issues. Moved to Health Sciences.

    dudara


  • Registered Users Posts: 349 ✭✭ RH149


    i think its when you need after hours treatment for minor injuries - or when you just can't face an overcrowded A&E department.

    We've used them twice when my kids had accidents. Once, when my son had a very sore wrist after a rugby match and since it clearly wasn't broken and we didn't fancy spending all day in A&E we went to Swiftcare. Forget what they charged but he had an X ray and a fracture was diagnosed- strapped up and given a sort of splint and follow up appointment. Was happy with the treatment and the fact he was seen within 15 mins.
    A similar situation when my daughter hit her forehead off her bedside locker at 9pm and we faced a night in Crumlin or Tallaght A&E for a few stitches....in and out of Swiftcare in 40 mins, 3 stitches, and back to have them out 10 days later, another 10 minute job.

    Very pleasant doctors each time, am sure it would have been cheaper to go to A&E but if you want to avoid that nightmare for minor injuries Swiftcare is a good option. If I had other aches and pains as you describe above I think I'd go to my regular GP and then see if I needed a hospital referral.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 11,655 Mod ✭✭✭✭ RobFowl


    I'm no fan but they aspire to "provide walk-in medical care for minor injuries and illnesses". They specifically say they do not treat for example "Serious head and neck injuries"

    Effectively you pay the cost to be seen quickly and to be treated for minor uncomplicated conditions.

    As they say you pays your money and takes your choice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,143 ✭✭✭ locum-motion


    RH149 wrote: »
    ... a very sore wrist after a rugby match and since it clearly wasn't broken and...

    ...but he had an X ray and a fracture was diagnosed- ...


    Slightly baffled by your "...clearly wasn't broken...", since "... a fracture was diagnosed..."


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,370 ✭✭✭ Phoebas


    Some VHI plans include (some) free visits to Swiftcare clinics. Worth checking your policy.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 11,655 Mod ✭✭✭✭ RobFowl


    Slightly baffled by your "...clearly wasn't broken...", since "... a fracture was diagnosed..."

    FTR a fracture is a broken bone


  • Registered Users Posts: 349 ✭✭ RH149


    Well 'clearly' was probably too strong, it didn't appear broken to us as in he could still use it and it wasn't limp but as it was so sore and I was wary of anything rugby related we wanted to get it checked. I think at the time if we thought it was broken we would have gone to A&E regardless of the potential endless waiting- I think they called it a minor fracture...he just needed to wear the splint for a few weeks (and no sports) and it healed itself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 594 ✭✭✭ The_Pretender


    I find them great. Well worth paying the money to not have to sit in A&E for hours to find out if you're a broken bone, or if you've cracked a tooth you can use the dentist there and be seen quickly. But obviously if it's something serious then the hospital is what is needed. They don't deal with neck/head injuries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭ coffeepls


    I've always thought of the VHI swiftcare clinic as a one stop late hours private clinic - you go there if you need to get an X-ray asap because it's out of hours to visit your GP.

    If you go to your GP knowing you need an X-ray, he/she will refer you to the radiology dept of the hospital. This is not A&E and you'll be out if there in no time. Last time I went for an X-ray by referral I was about one hour tops in the hospital before I was seen.

    If you go straight to A&E you could be there for a couple of hours or many many hours.

    The swiftcare clinic are excellent, but not a substitute for your GP if you need to be diagnosed based on your health history.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27,836 ✭✭✭✭ ThisRegard


    I've found them excellent. Attended the Dundrum on a Sunday morning with a broken collar bone, got seen and sorted more or less immediately. Only real wait was the queue for the x-ray machine. Wife attended the one in Swords another time, same story, in and out in no time.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 45 ✭✭✭ kilp10


    I don't think the idea of the Swiftcare is to replace the services of a GP and if you decide to go to them, then expect to pay! What you're describing as the reasons for going there sounds like it could have been reviewed initially by your GP at a fraction of the cost and if he thought it necessary, could have referred you on at no cost and not too much of a wait. I'd probably only bypass the GP and go to a Swiftcare if there had actually been a non serious trauma-related injury (conscious, walking wounded) and wanted to bypass the A&E waiting times. Anything gradually coming on, I'd see the GP first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭✭ Elliottsmum79


    I played tag rusby for years and regularly someone from the team ennded up in VHI Swiftcare. We were almost on first name terms with the staff :) Found them super efficient for breaks/sprans/gashes/wounds all of which are pretty regular in tag rugby it seems. Went to the VHI emergency dentist too after I crumpled a tooth...I can still remember the pain, in both my tooth and wallet ( was about €300 for the consult and dental treatment) but I would have paid anythign to feel better. I think they;re a great option and have found the doctors great. Fancy 10hrs as a low priority in A&E or a seen immediately fee? Totally worth it...........


  • Registered Users Posts: 84 ✭✭✭ Elliottsmum79


    I played tag rugby for years and regularly someone from the team ended up in VHI Swiftcare. We were almost on first name terms with the staff :) Found them super efficient for breaks/sprains/gashes/wounds all of which are pretty regular in tag rugby it seems. Went to the VHI emergency dentist too after I crumpled a tooth...I can still remember the pain, in both my tooth and wallet ( was about €300 for the consult and dental treatment) but I would have paid anything to feel better. I think they are a great option and have found the doctors great too. Fancy 10hrs as a low priority in A&E or a seen immediately fee? Totally worth it...........


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