Private healthcare insurer Laya is to create a nationwide network of health and wellbeing clinics.
The move is seen as a belated response to VHI’s decision to restrict access to its Swiftcare clinics to all but its own members two years ago.
Laya said its first new clinic will open in Cherrywood in Dublin next month with a second centre opening in Briarhill, Galway city in January. It said it also intends to establish a clinic in Limerick by next summer with two more clinics to open at undisclosed locations by 2022.
The insurer said 80 jobs will be created with the opening of the centres, which will be open from 10am to 10pm, 365 days a year.
The clinics services including walk-in urgent care for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries for patients as young as 12 months, as well as a number of so-called ‘wellbeing’ services.
In addition to urgent care, services will include the delivery of minor surgical procedures and treatments, specialist consultant outpatient services, vaccinations and flu management services, Counselling services, chronic disease management and homecare support services.
“In the short-term, we expect our Laya Health and Wellbeing Clinics will quickly relieve some of the pressure in acute hospital settings and allow people to be seen more quickly 365 days a year,” said Donal Clancy, managing director.
The insurer said the clinic will be open to everyone, including those without health insurance.
“While providing urgent care is a key offering, our clinics will be equally focused on the areas of preventative health and wellbeing, with screening services and experts in place to focus on health promotion, health protection and disease prevention that support our members’ physical and mental wellbeing,” said Mr Clancy.
“Right now, there is no other single destination you can go to that will look after your urgent care needs alongside your wellbeing needs, so our Clinics will break new ground in this regard”, he added.
The country’s second-largest health insurance provider, reported a €20.6 million pre-tax profit last year as revenue went up by 16 per cent from €66.6 million to €77 million.
The profit allowed the company to pay a dividend of €24 million during the year.