28 August 2008

Immunization Runaround

This is the real reason people don't immunize their children. I've been absorbed this last week. I'm off until next week. Hopefully I don't have to drive my kids to Canada to get their immunizations. ug.... UPDATE BELOW

28 Aug 2008

Dear Mr Health Dept Dude,

Hello, my name is Bee. I found your email on the County website. I appreciate your availability to the public and hope I can get some resolution to my frustrations by addressing you personally.

I am writing regarding the new DocsR-Us Clinic opening Sept 2, 2008. I have not been able to get sufficient information regarding this clinic. The existing location has informed me that they not accepting new patients.

As a parent of uninsured children, I have had great difficulty pursuing state required immunizations for school. If my two children needing immunizations aren't immunized by Sept 13, they will not be allowed into school.

I contacted my children's doctor first. 3 years of being healthy and not going to the Dr. means we are New Patients. The office is not taking New Patients right now.


In the second week of August I drove down to the Health Department with four children in tow. I called the Health Dept. Immunizations are a walk-in appointment, first come first serve. I waited in the front of the line, with one woman working and watched the clock as my children did their best to be not-bored.

This sole employee did not look up from her work in 5 minutes time to then stand, grab her purse and go to lunch. I waited another 5 minutes waiting to have someone...anyone acknowledge me. A woman walked over from the cashier desk and asked me politely "if I had a question". I need immunizations.

Sorry, no available appointments. I was handed a brochure for Free Clinic Wednesdays.

Yesterday, I showed up at the Free Clinic. Four kids in tow. We waited for 25 minutes until they said there weren't enough nurses. Only the first 35 children were allowed. I was #71. Since the sign-in starts at 5pm and appointments start at 5:30, I did not get there early enough even coming at around 4pm. I was informed by staffers that DocsR-Us would be taking over immunizations for the Health Dept.

This morning, I called DocsR-Us at their main location: 555-1234.

"You've called medical ma'am, please try this number, 555-2345." I thanked her and was on my way.

I called the next number and the woman stated that they are not accepting new patients. She said a new clinic was opening Sep 2nd and gave me this number: 555-3456. I called it and the call came back to the same woman. By this time I am thoroughly confused and frustrated. Try another number: 555-4567 which answered immediately by an voice mail box that was full.

I need answers about where I can get my children's immunizations. These are state mandated immunizations and I have been very patient, albeit my only fault is having healthy kids and no insurance.

I greatly appreciate your time and any answers you can give me. I am also available via home phone at xxx-xxxx. Thank you!

~Bee Repartee

*******UPDATE: I got a response. YAY!

Ms. Bee:

Thank you for your email message. I am sorry that you have experienced so much frustration getting your children immunized for back to school. I hope this reply will help.

The Health Dept has been winding down services in our clinic in preparation for DocsR-Us Clinic to take over on September 2. For the last few weeks we have been providing immunizations on appointment only. As you can imagine, at this time of year appointments fill up pretty quickly. Nonetheless, I am disappointed to hear that you did not receive prompt and friendly service from our office staff. I will be discussing this with our clinic manager tomorrow.

DocsR-Us will be open for business here at the Health Dept on September 2. They will have a full-time medical assistant available who will do nothing but provide back to school immunizations on both a walk in and appointment basis. While it's true that DocsR-Us is not accepting new clients at its current location, they will be accepting new clients here on September 2.

My recommendation is that you return to the Health Dept as early as you can next week to have your children immunized by DocsR-Us staff.

One of the benefits of having DocsR-Us here is that they will provide not only the clinical services that the Health Dept used to provide but also a full range of primary care services for uninsured people in our county. So, in the future, you can bring your children in to get a flu shot as well as treatment for an ear infection or a broken arm or any other medical condition that may have.

Again, I am sorry to hear that it has been so challenging for you to check your children immunized. Please feel free to contact me if you continue to experience frustration.

Thank you.

Mr Health Dept Dude
Big Cheese
Health Department
PO Box 00000
Rain Drops and Coffee Shops, Pacific NW
Tel: xxx.xxxx

~Bee loves the power of the pen


Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I'd be crossing over from frustrated to angry to livid pretyt quickly in that situation. Ugh!

Millie said...

These are the times that try moms' souls.

I'm thinking we open a free clinic ourselves. I've given shots before... we would just have to get one of those pesky medical license thingies...

Mrs4444 said...

I wish I could help--You've been unbelievably patient and persistent. I hope you've found more luck since this post.

holly said...

well i think your first problem is that your phone number clearly has too many x's in it.

you so should come over here. they will have you all immunized in about five minutes. even from some stuff you don't need to be immunized for! no. kidding. no wait, they probably would!

ancient one said...

I hope you can get all this straightened out soon. How Frustrating!!

Anonymous said...

That must be driving you batty! You know what is funny? Immunizations are supposed to be optional, but you can't get your kids enrolled in school with out them...hmmmmm
optional? I think not. This whole thing is just wrong :( I am so sorry.

... Paige said...

My beloved and I did "Crowd Control" at an Immuunization Round up at a local school. Man you should have heard those kids crying. Some of the poor little things had up to 7 shots. That was just cruel!

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