"Lack of follow-up contact about financial assistance"
About: Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Pilbara Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Pilbara South Hedland 6722
Posted by lyraqc78 (as ),
Initial claim was lodged in March 2020 to assist with fuel consumption from Port Hedland to Perth to attend Pre Admission, Blood tests, Pre-op, Surgery and Post-op appointments with inclusive dates from April to May. Unfortunately, all elective surgery was postponed due to COVID-19 two days later and I contacted PATS to advise them, at this time I was advised that the initial PATS Referral and Specialist form would be left in the system and to contact again when the new surgery date was confirmed.
We received this information and it was sent via email in July and we received confirmation from PATS by email on the same day to say that someone would contact in 5 business days. Almost two weeks later I noticed that this time had come and gone and so I contacted by phone only to find out that the original GP referral had run out and was asked if I could forward this. The new referral had already been obtained as this was also required by the Surgeon and so a PDF copy was forwarded by email immediately that day and again a confirmation email was received on the same day saying it was received and someone would contact in 5 business days.
A few days ago, I noticed that again we had not been contacted and so I called again and was asked what the new surgery date was and where. At this point, I lost my temper as we are set to take off for the drive to Perth with one business day left to go and I am no closer to getting financial assistance with fuel costs. At this point, I did what I rarely do and in my annoyance displayed my dissatisfaction verbally at the poor person on the other end of the phone to the point of having them in tears and them having to get someone else to assist me.
I did give my apologies for losing my temper but I feel this situation should never get to this point and in my opinion, WACHS has a responsibility to employ enough staff to deal with the large amount of people living in WA country areas who require medical travel assistance. I will give my apologies again to the staff member that I vented my anger and annoyance at and thank them and the other assistant who eventually progressed our claim.