In an effort to tackle waiting times the HSE has published the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 which specifically identifies dermatology for extra resources.
This move may help people with psoriasis, HS, atopic eczema, skin lesions and many other skin conditions access care more quickly.
Under the plan the HSE intends to increase total number of outpatient appointments, introduce what have been termed ‘see and treat’ clinics, review more people with chronic conditions in the community, and purchase appointments in the private sector.
In February 2019 the dermatology waiting list was 44,763, with 13,350 patients expected to wait for more than 12 months for an appointment.
According to National Treatment Purchase Fund figures in March 2017 there were 34,304 patients on the dermatology waiting list, this rose to 41,852 in May 2018, with February 2019 figures showing a 30% increase in just under two years.
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Meanwhile, the number of individuals expected to wait for more than one year over the same period has risen from 7,009 to 13,350, up nearly 90%.
Demand for dermatology appointments have increased, driven largely by our aging population, skin cancer and increased need for the care of moderate-to-severe inflammatory skin disease like psoriasis, eczema, HS and other disorders.
The number waiting for an outpatient appointment has soared from 516,000 at the end of last year to 542,000 in February, but the plan envisages a fall to 509,000 by the end of 2019.
If you need guidance or support about managing a skin disorder, contact the ISF Helpline for free assistance and information.