06 August, 2009

Unhelpful doctor and rude receptionist

One of the pains of raising a family between two countries is trying to comply with everyone's view of what immunisation is necessary at what age. One of the jobs on my long list of things-to-do is to sort this out now that we're back in Australia and 'get caught up'. Enter frustration! I dutifully made an appointment with a doctor and took all their records in so the doctor could sort it out. In Australia there is an immunisation register for 0-4 years that regulates the system (with financial rewards for getting it right). A doctor is required to fill out a form and send it to the register for verification and advice on catchups if required. The doctor (for whom English is his second language) took a cursory look at the records, said leave them here, I'll do it tonight. I came back two days later and it hadn't been done. That was yesterday. Today, I went in to pick up the records and copies of the forms he'd presumably filled in. Our middle son was born in Japan, so his "book" is in Japanese, but all the key words are in English too. The receptionist spat out, "He did two of them but the other is in Japanese. He can't read it, so he didn't do it." How rude! I'd made an appointment an offered to sit down and figure this out with the doctor - and then he doesn't do a thing about it? What happened to compassion? Presumably our 6 y.o. is to be left open to whatever disease that comes along which he is not immunised against. The doctor (and his receptionist) obviously don't care. On the converse, when I took my other two sons to the doctor in Japan with their English birth books, the staff and doctor took utmost care in trying to reconcile the two systems! I'm not sure where this leave us, what the next step is. Certainly I'm not planning to go back to that local medical centre, I'm going to drive 15km to the one we went to last time we were in Australia, where at least they care about their patients.

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