Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Professionals

Southern Sun Healthcare

Working to address this need and increase awareness among Australians of the dangers of sun exposure, Southern Sun Healthcare has worked since 2002 to provide the highest quality skin cancer identification and treatment services available across the nation.

Discussing the founding of the company and its subsequent growth, Ian Katz, Director of Southern Sun Health Care describes how the company’s first clinic in Hornsby, with a small pathology lab, grew to include twelve clinics throughout NSW and many lab referrers from northern Queensland down to Tasmania. He attributes the company’s growth to the high quality, personalised service Southern Sun Health Care has to offer as well as its convenient services.

With Australians suffering from such a high incidence of skin cancer, the company worked to develop a new, convenient solution for skin cancer diagnosis, treatment, and education. “People are having to wait a long period of time to see specialists and spend a significantly higher amount of money, or go and see a general practitioner who may not be as qualified,” explains Ian. “We identified a niche in the middle of these two extremes and focused on that.”

The company’s solution includes clinical and pathological solutions and physicians with years of diagnostic and treatment experience. Physicians working with Southern Sun attend regular professionally accredited development courses in order to remain on the cutting edge of new technical developments and diagnostic techniques and provide services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week through the lab.

Doctors at Southern Sun have incredible experience in both clinical and pathological diagnosis. What this means for patients is that they can be diagnosed and treated in-house, saving them dangerous wait times and potentially a great deal of money as well. “It makes the diagnosis of skin cancer much more accurate,” suggests Ian.

In order to stay at the top of its field, Southern Sun continues to invest heavily in new equipment and technology that will help improve its process and save patients’ lives. The company recently ordered a new sample processing machine, an investment of over one hundred thousand dollars. This allows the company to process six hundred specimens at a time and improve turnaround time for patients waiting for results.

Significant investment in information technology development has also been undertaken by the group. The goal of this investment is, of course, to improve the patient experience and to provide physicians with the tools they need to best diagnose and treat skin cancers.

“The clients are happy that they receive value from the qualified doctors at the clinics and are happy that they get seen quickly and efficiently,” Ian says of the patient experience and feedback he has received from those the health care provider has served. Patients appreciate that the company has access to the most up to date equipment and can detect skin cancer on the spot instead of having to refer patients to other offices.

But Southern Sun Health Care not only offers diagnosis and treatment; the company also works vigorously to educate its communities about the dangers of sun exposure and teaches methods that have been proven to help reduce the development of skin cancers. For patients, “detecting skin cancer themselves is also important so that they may come in early before skin cancer becomes advanced.”

Despite growing awareness about the dangers of skin cancer and the cumulative effects of sun exposure, Australia’s rate of cases of skin cancer continues to climb. “The thing is that even though we’ve had all these campaigns about ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ and everything else for fifteen or twenty years, skin cancer is generally the disease of middle aged and elderly people. It will not be until the young people become middle aged in thirty years’ time that we will see a reduction in skin cancer in Australia, because you get much of your damage when you’re young.”

With this idea in mind, it is Ian’s focus to educate the young people and help them stay out of the sun while their skin is still young. “This means that hopefully, they won’t get skin cancer as they age.”

With such a high rate of skin cancers and the involvement of many corporate entities, it is no surprise that diagnostic and treatment services are very competitive. Even so, there’s also an opportunity for independent, doctor-owned clinics like Southern Sun Health Care which operate on a more personal basis.

Some of the best physicians from across Australia value the innovative atmosphere of Southern Sun and prefer to work in the company’s special environment. “We have two clients – we need to have patients and also have to attract doctors to work in the clinics. Many doctors don’t want to work in the big corporate; they want to work in the independent facilities. We try to attract the best, most well qualified doctors as well as the patients for them to see.” With such demand for the company’s services, one of Southern Sun’s greatest challenges has become finding highly skilled physicians to meet the needs of patients.

Physicians appreciate the fact that the company offers fully equipped facilities with a walk-in, walk-out mentality. “It’s a great niche and becomes very fulfilling for the doctors,” says Ian. Doctors are provided with the best the industry has to offer, and can avoid unpleasant duties if they want to, as services like marketing and after-hours paperwork are provided by the company.

A further challenge that the company has worked to overcome, through education, is the relaxed attitude many Australians take during the winter months. Many people suppose that regular skin care is less of an issue than in the more dangerous summer months. Says Ian, “It is a challenge to try to teach people that in winter, when everyone is more relaxed and there’s more time to treat things, it may be the best time to be checked.”

Ian says that despite the company’s incredible growth and industry recognition, it is the act of supporting patients that makes up Southern Sun’s greatest benchmarks and accomplishments. Finding melanomas, especially those that have been missed by other service providers in the past, is incredibly fulfilling for physicians at Southern Sun. “We’re probably finding in our clinics thirty or more melanomas a week. If you think about it, say each melanoma is saving someone’s life or prolonging their life by fifteen or more years, it’s amazing.”

As for what the future holds, Ian is excited about future developments and Southern Sun Health Care’s plans to meet patient needs across Australia, allowing the company to become a truly national skin cancer diagnostic and treatment solution provider. “We’ll expand throughout Australia in the western states and southern Australia,” he shares. “We have a plan to become the biggest independent skin pathology laboratories in the country, and we’re looking to expand that nationally.”

At the end of the day, Southern Sun is really in the people business and works tirelessly to build real, lasting relationships between patients and physicians while providing only the best in skin cancer care that Australia has to offer. “It’s all about patients knowing that they can come in and have things checked quickly if they’re concerned about the health of their skin and receiving follow up treatment if they need it.”

With a focus on education and building meaningful relationships with clients, Southern Sun Healthcare is dedicated to offering the latest cutting edge diagnosis and treatment options available with physicians who specialise in treating skin cancers. The company’s growth across Australia to become a truly national service provider is a great thing for a people who know only too well the dangers of prolonged sun exposure.

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October 20, 2018, 10:48 AM AEDT

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