Dear Nutrinic7 and Kathleen,
Just letting you know that the VHI have just approved my forthcoming endo surgical treatment with Peter Barton-Smith in the London. Which I am extremely relieved about!
This is how it happened:
Before I travelled to London for my consultation with Peter I had sought a referral to the once monthly endometriosis clinic at Cork University Maternity Hospital (public hospital), via my GP. By the time I got an appointment at this clinic I had already been to see Peter and had booked a surgery date (as I was desperate).
When I did get seen at the clinic (late Dec.), the consultant gynaecologist in charge of this clinic, Dr. Cathy Burke, who says she DOES do excision, said she would try to fast track me through her system for a laparoscopy, but it would still be a diagnostic one and then a treatment one so could take some time. She was happy to sign my VHI form and then I got Peter to fill it in. At this appointment, I was initially seen by her registrar, Dr. Bernard Kennedy. He was very understanding and up to date on current surgical endo research. He says he plans to train in surgical excision in Australia (so may be someone to watch out for in the future). After listening to my story he went and discussed my case with Dr. Burke who then came and discussed things with me further before signing my form.
Once I submitted all to the VHI, they got back to me and said I needed an Irish consultant to fill it out so to ask Dr. Burke to fill it in, as well as a letter from her, referring me to Peter. Fortunately Dr. Burke responded positively to my e-mail request for same and completed all this paperwork very swiftly (she was just able to copy what Peter had filled in – I sent her his version with all the medical references etc.). Her letter of referral to Peter requested that he treat me due to the long waiting list for her service so she did not have to say it was due to her not being experienced enough to do so etc. which may be an issue for some consultants.
Dr. Burke only works in the public system, she does not do private work so is not registered with the VHI but this was not a problem. I plan to attend her endo clinic after my surgery as I am still in that system and will need advice with hormonal matters (I am still on the continuous pill to avoid periods at age 48 so that will need to addressed!)
The fact that I also sent them a letter from my GP supporting my treatment abroad, as well as my current sick cert showing that I cannot work as a result of endometriosis may have helped also, as well as the fact that I already have an existing endometriosis diagnosis from previous diagnostic and treating laparoscopies.
Anyway, sharing my story in case of use to others.
Thank you Kathleen for your help and support with my search for a solution to my current endo flare up, which I hope to be my last…!
Surgery in London is booked for Feb. 6th so fingers crossed I will have some improvement after then.
All the best,