"No escort"

About: Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Kimberley

(as the patient),

I live in remote Kimberley and I have a toddler who was born with a small cyst on their lung, which meant I had to go to Perth on my own for 2 months before I had my toddler.  I was only 19 years old at the time and it was my first baby. It was a very scary, lonely experience for me.  I asked to take my mum with me but was told no. My partner also wanted to come, but PATS said no to approving an escort.

I am now pregnant with my second baby and my toddler needs to go back to Perth for some follow up tests. My toddler is very busy and I sometimes struggle to keep up with them, as I am very pregnant and tied.  I have asked for my partner to come with us, but again PATS has said no and will not approve both of us to go.  My toddler is very attached to me, so I can't just send them with their dad, as my toddler will not settle and sleep just for him.

I think it's really unfair that when us mob are required to travel to Perth or Broome for medical stuff that PATS will not support families staying together for this.

My toddler may need life threatening surgery while in Perth and I think its really unfair that their dad, my partner cannot come with us for this.

Living in remote Kimberley and travelling to Perth is a long way, I should not be made to do this on my own.

Responses

Response from Wendy McKinley, Operations Manager, Broome Hospital

picture of Wendy McKinley

Dear araty48

Thank you for your post regarding PATS assistance for you and your family.

I am sorry that you feel that the PATS system is unfair. The PATS guidelines are very specific in regards to eligibility for escorts. An escort needs to be considered 'medically necessary by your doctor or treating specialist' to be approved. If you have been declined an escort it may be because this was not requested by your doctor.

There is an opportunity for patients to seek approval of an escort as an exceptional circumstance. I do not know the specific details of your case, however, based on the information in your post it sounds like you may be eligible for a second escort.

I would encourage you to contact Donna Cox, Regional PATS Coordinator, to see if you can be approved an escort as an exceptional circumstance. Donna is contactable on (08) 9194 2334. I have spoken with her already today to let her know she may hear from you.

I hope your child is doing well and that the follow up tests are good news.

Good luck and thank you again for your post.

Sincerely

Wendy

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