"Country services"

About: Midwest Health

(as a carer),

My husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about a year ago. We live in Geraldton in Western Australia. We have a great hospital here and the services they do provide are fantastic but we have very few specialist services. The only neurologist who visits Geraldton comes once a year and is hard to get in to see.

While my husband was working and on sick leave, we could afford a private specialist in Perth. We were not aware that he would be forced to retire on medical grounds and therefore no longer afford to go private. When we explained this to his neurologist he basically said that there was nothing more he could do and that was that. It has been around 7 months since seeing him and we are finally getting in to see someone in the public system in Perth.

I would like to see more specialist services in the public hospital system in Geraldton. We have a large enough population to support it. It is expensive when we have to stay in hotels/hostels every time we go for appointments in Perth. There is some subsidy provided but it doesn't cover everything and if we wanted to fly instead of driving there is no subsidy. My husband is no longer able to drive so it falls to me to drive the 450km trek to Perth. It's difficult enough being a carer of a disabled family member without having to drive so far for treatment.  

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear avocetzs77

Thank you for taking the opportunity to share your story on Patient Opinion. I'm so sorry to hear that your husband is unwell and acknowledge the challenges of accessing care closer to home.

Learning from the experience of patients’ is an important part of continuing to improve services provided in and for country WA. WA Country Health Service is working with specialist services such as neurology to improve and provide more flexible access for country people including to the Midwest. We would love an opportunity to speak with you and encourage you to call Stephanie Waters on 08 6383 1863 or you can contact myself on 9956 8695 and I can take your details and pass them on to the team.

For some patients there is access to specialist appointments via telehealth. A range of telehealth services are available for country people, reducing their need for travel and time away from home and their community, with over 18,000 country residents who attended their appointments using telehealth in 2017. For further information and assistance, please contact the Telehealth helpline on 1300 367 166 or visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/telehealth

Thanks again for taking the time to write, your feedback allows us an opportunity to improve our service. I wish you and your husband all the very best for the future.

Kind regards

Michele

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Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear avocetzs77

Just wanted to touch base as we haven't heard from you and would really like an opportunity to see where we can assist. Further to my previous response the Neurological Council Of WA - Geraldton provides advocacy to protect the rights and needs of persons with a neurological condition and their carers, both individually and within the broader neurological community. The contact details are:

Address:
Lotteries House Building, 114 Sanford STREET, Geraldton, 6530

Contact:

Ph: 08 9938 0780

E: adminmw@ncwa.com.au

W: http://www.ncwa.com.au/

If you could please contact myself on 9956 8695 or Dr Katy Templeman on 9956 2410. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

Michele

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