Waterford Senior Hurling legend John Mullane was on hand yesterday (Tuesday) to officially open Waterford’s first walk-in urgent care centre – the Vhi SwiftCare Clinic located in Whitfield Clinic, Butlerstown.

The Waterford Vhi SwiftCare Clinic is open to all members of the public, not just Vhi Healthcare members, from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year (including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).

“This is a state-of-the art facility and I have no doubt that it will be an immense success,” said the De La Salle captain, named Waterford’s hurler of the year at the County Convention last week.

“I have first hand knowledge of the bumps, bruises and breaks you can get when you’re an active participant in sport and I can see the benefit this facility will bring to Waterford in terms of offering a real choice for people with minor injuries.

“I was delighted to be asked to officially open the clinic and wish the Vhi SwiftCare team here every success in the future.”

Doctor Ray Power, the Medical Director of Vhi SwiftCare Clinics said he was delighted that the Deise sharp shooter was available to open the facility.

“It seemed particularly fitting that a national and local hero such as John Mullane should open this facility when so many of the injuries we see are sports related,” he said.

“Since we opened the first clinic in Dublin three years ago we have built strong relationships with many sporting organisations including the GAA, Leinster Rugby and many local sporting clubs in the areas around our clinics and we are always on hand to quickly treat their minor injuries when they need it…

“We are very proud to open Waterford’s first urgent care centre and look forward to offering patients with minor injuries and illnesses an alternative to visiting an A&E department.”

Added Dr Power: “We know that this choice will be particularly welcome over Christmas and the New Year – last year alone the Vhi SwiftCare Clinics treated 1,500 patients over the Christmas break and we expect that number to exceed 3,000 this year.

“Vhi Swiftcare always seeks to work in close partnership with the local medical community so that a wide range of services can be offered to patients, both in the clinic and elsewhere.

“To date 20 per cent of patients in our Waterford clinic have been referred to us by local medical practitioners and patients can also be referred on by Vhi SwiftCare to other specialists. We would encourage GP’s and other healthcare professionals to visit the facilities and see for themselves what’s on offer.”

According to Whitfield Clinic’s General Manager Annette Gee: “Here at Whitfield Clinic we are delighted to have this urgent care walk-in service to compliment the growing range of services that are available at the clinic to the people of the south east, patients attending the clinic can be assured of access to state of the art diagnostics facilities and appropriate and timely referral to in-house consultants where appropriate.”

The Vhi SwiftCare Clinics are run as a joint initiative between Vhi Healthcare, Ireland’s largest private health insurer and Centric Health, a primary care medical company founded by Dr Ray Power and Dr Maurice Cox. Vhi SwiftCare Clinic in Waterford City will be operated in partnership with the Whitfield Clinic.