I was utterly disgusted when I visited the local psychiatry clinic in central Phoenix this week. I was assisting a client who required a referral assessment letter so that she could finalize her disability grant appeal application with the Department of Social Development.
To my amazement the sole psychiatrist that is stationed at the facility was on three weeks leave and the medical officer was hospitalized. The intern that had been posted there was not available on the plant at the time and so the facility was managed by the nursing staff.
To me this was a simple exercise – The client required a breakdown of her medical assessment – but it seemed this would turn out to be a mammoth procedure. The sister in-charge was rude, arrogant and inconsiderate. She obviously didn’t understand that this was an appeal application and not a first time application. She insisted that applications couldn’t be completed in absence of the MO or the psychiatrist. Although I, repeatedly, explained what we were there for. She then predicted that the appeal would be unsuccessful because in the previous occasion the grant was processed on “compassionate grounds” – whatever that meant.
It is disappointing that healthcare has deteriorated to such an extent that personnel lack empathy. The client commuted by public transport on three consecutive days to get a simple letter. The lack of training for these employees means that needy people must be inconvenienced.
Government has to revisit and reassess the state of healthcare. Proper information pertaining to inter-departmental matters must be cascaded to the relevant departments to prevent communication cessations. A more inclusive and cyber friendly approach must be taken and we must quickly dismiss this archaic system.
Government must also address this issue of lack of specialist care in state facilities. It is a waste of resources and a grave injustice to the poor masses to have a facility that has insufficient health care. The health and well-being of our people cannot be compromised. In this case, the livelihood of this client hinged on that simple document and there was no one to provide it.