Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Joy of Red Tape

I'm not sure what to call this other than a big hassle. My daughter had her checkup before starting school and among the things the doctor looked at was her immunization schedule which he declared up to date. Really? I asked him again if he was sure because I thought all children entering school needed booster shots for various things and once again he confirmed that it was up to date.

Less than two weeks later, I received a card from the local public health office saying my daughter needs some booster shots for various vaccinations and a week after that, the school sent me a letter stating the same thing. So I called the clinic and asked them to re-check her records which they did and verified that the doctor had been wrong. So I told them I would like to schedule an appointment to do so.

In our school district, the public health center only vaccinates on Tuesdays right after lunch necessitating that I would have to take time off from work, take my daughter out of school to go get the necessary shots. Yet every Wednesday, school is delayed and doesn't start until 10:00 in the morning. Could I get an appointment at the public health center to do it on Wednesday morning when my daughter won't have to miss school? That was a big NO. So I set up an appointment at the clinic for the shots since they could do so on Wednesday morning.

So after prepping my daughter for two days on the fact that she was going to get some shots and that they would hurt a little, something that five year old children are not enthused about, we showed up at the appointed time, the first appointment they schedule in the day. Twenty minutes after our scheduled appointment, we finally get called into the room where the nurse tells me they can't give my daughter the shot unless I want to cough up $500! WTF? Evidently health insurance doesn't cover childhood vaccinations which I still have a hard time believing. Does that mean everyone has to get vaccinations at a government public health office?

So we walked out and my daughter still does not have her shots for which she was happy but now I have to take time off work, pull her out of school so that for the two hours a week they give free vaccinations, she can get hers. I also now have another week to answer her questions, address her fears and deal with the pre-shot trauma all over again. Oh what fun.

[Post addendum: Five shots and a flu mist were given yesterday afternoon resulting in a child with some sore legs this morning. She was a real trooper though and we don't have to go through this again until she is 14.]


R. Sherman said...

We discovered the same thing, though our public health center vaccinates during normal business hours 8-5, no appointment needed. Much better than $500 a pop.


malor said...

WTF is right!