- First of its kind female health digital consultations launched by Irish Life Health in August ‘23 to provide specialist advice, diagnosis and treatment on female health issues
- Dedicated female health consultation accessible digitally nationwide
- Access to an in-person follow up consultation if needed in a total of 27 clinics by end of Q1 2024*
- Irish Life Health investing over €30m in additional community care services including female health and digital doctor services
Irish Life Health, one of Ireland’s leading health insurance providers, has announced the expansion of the female health specialist GP service, with access to a further 11 in-person Centric Health clinics, set to be available by the end of Q1 2024. Irish Life Health’s female health service offers an initial digital consultation with GPs who are specialist in female health issues, as well as direct access to an in-person consultation if a referral is required*.
Access to the new service will be available at centres based in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Louth and Meath. This will bring the total number of clinics offering female health consultations with a specialist GP to 27 nationwide.
Since the launch of this first of its kind female health consultation in August 2023, almost half the consultations are for issues relating to menopause which aligns with research commissioned by Irish Life Health in July 2023**, which found that almost half of 35 – 54 year olds are worried about perimenopause or menopause.
A further 1 in 3 appointments are for women aged 18 – 34 which highlights the need for such services amongst younger women in Ireland. The Irish Life Health research identified that 89% of 18 – 34 year olds want to understand more about female health with 75% curious about their fertility status.
The average consultation time through this service is 20 minutes, giving more time to women to discuss their female health concerns in comparison to a standard GP consultation.
The female health consultation offers Irish Life Health members access to a GP consultation by phone or video, potentially a diagnosis and a recommended course of action with an in-person appointment at one of Centric Health’s specialist female health clinics across Ireland. This benefit is available on all Irish Life Health plans.
To date, almost half of all digital consultations have required an in-person follow-up, with blood tests and scans being the most common services required.
Liz Rowen, Head of Marketing, Irish Life Health said: “Ensuring that our customers have quick and easy access to the care and advice they need is at the heart of what we do. Women across Ireland have indicated that getting fast access to specialist female health expertise is difficult, which is why we developed this service and why we’re continuing to invest in this much needed offering in 2024. Irish Life Health has committed to investing over €30m to build out digital and community-based health services, which includes this female health service and our digital doctor offering.
We are really pleased to see younger people accessing the service as we saw from our research that four in ten 18 – 24 year olds in Ireland are worried about menstruation issues, while four in ten 25 – 34 year olds are worried about fertility issues. I would urge any one of our female members that has such concerns to check out this service.”
Dr Maire Finn, one of Centric Health’s specialist GPs delivering this service for Irish Life Health, comments: “The research carried out by Irish Life Health** indicated that women wanted to know more about the health matters that relate specifically to them and that they were finding it hard to access specialist female health expertise. We have seen from the response in the first four months that this new Irish Life Health female health consultation is an important and necessary step in providing specialised care and information that women need and want.”
The Irish Life Health survey, which was carried out amongst women aged 18+, revealed insights into perceptions of female healthcare in Ireland. Over half of respondents believe female healthcare is not well serviced in Ireland, while 38% are finding it difficult to get fast access to specialist female health expertise.
*Access to the Female Health consultation is available to customers across all Irish Life Health hospital plans for €40 per visit (50% discount). Cover for in-person referrals varies by Plan.
**Research conducted by Red C in July 2023, featuring a panel of 500+ female representatives aged 18+.