The average wait time to see a dermatologist in Southern Ontario is about ten weeks and is much longer in regional areas. These long waiting times are increasing, as the number of qualified, practicing dermatologists in Ontario cannot keep up with medical needs of the ever-growing population. In Eastern Ontario, there is one dermatologist for every 73,000 patients on average* and the gravity of skin conditions is more severe than realized. For example, in 2007 73,600 patients were diagnosed with skin cancer and a stunning 1 in 7 Canadians are likely to develop some form of this cancer in their lifetime*. Psoriasis is another serious condition, an inflammatory disorder of the skin resulting in thick, red scaly patches. A recent study revealed that 94% of sufferers said the disease affected their overall quality of life and 81% said that their work, school and leisure activities have been significantly affected; this is greater than the effect of diabetes. Approximately 1 in 30 people in Canada suffer from this condition*.
Walk-in clinics have revolutionized family medicine and AvantDerm aims to do the same for dermatology. It is the first dermatology clinic in Canada to offer a Rapid Access Clinic (RAC), which offers a very unique service that combines the immediate access of a walk-in clinic with specialty care by a team of fully-qualified dermatologists. The RAC will allow patients to see a skin specialist for an assessment as early as the next business day after getting a referral from a physician. Patients with all types of skin diseases will be seen and assessed immediately. All consultations are covered by OHIP.
Dr. Davindra Singh, founder of AvantDerm, is an award-winning dermatologist who is passionate about addressing the health care needs of the community. Whilst practicing medicine in underserviced areas such as Peterborough and Timmins, Dr. Singh developed the RAC model. In Peterborough he reduced the average waiting time to see a dermatologist from twelve months to two months. Now in Toronto, Dr. Singh plans to build on the extensive experience he has gained from family medicine, emergency medicine, specialty and urgent care to significantly reduce wait times and improve access to dermatology care for all patients living in the GTA and beyond.
Along with the RAC, AvantDerm specializes in ethnic skin care and also offer cosmetic services. The clinic is accepting patients now. Referral forms are available for download from the website avantderm.com.
*Source: National Specialty Physician Review, Canadian Cancer Statistics 2007, The Psoriasis Education Program