Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Netcare Travel Clinic's Incompetancy

Not in a very good place right now. Am trying to do a bit of a detox before Zanzibar and have a fridge full of veggies and fruit ... and I have been oh so prepared, even getting my breakfast & lunches ready the night before. Only this morning to leave it behind :P Annoying. Oh well, will have to figure out a way to survive.

Also, what's adding to my annoyance was an experience yesterday with a Netcare Travel Clinic. So I made my appointment and went off to collect my Malaria meds for Zanzibar. I went in to see the Nurse and she asked where I was going. Zanzibar, I replied. Ah, I see you've taken Malanil before (on my Southern African 2004 and East Africa 2007 trips), do you want to use it again? Sure, I said, I haven't had any side-effects with it. (It's expensive, but I'd rather not take the chance of side-effects while enjoying my holidays!). So she gives me what I need and off I go.

Once in my car I read my statement (which they only give you after you've paid, might I add!). They charged me R115 for their "consultation". I was pretty livid since I'd spent more time in their waiting room than with the actual nurse! I can understand you charging me a consultation fee if I'd needed an injection or the nurse had actually had to do more than just count out a few pills and put them into a box. Sigh. Oh well, I figured I'd let it go.

That was until Varen called me to say (he had a later appointment than I did) that they wouldn't give him Malanil because he was diving. WHAT? (Obviously I'll be diving too) Now I'm annoyed. So I call the Travel Clinic back and I say WTF? Whoever answered the phone says she'll call me back. When she does she starts trying to explain away the fact that the nurse I saw only works mornings and isn't there and that the nurse Varen saw just recommended he doesn't take Malanil because they don't know what effect it can have at depth. And (here's the cherry!) why didn't I mention I was going diving?

Excuse me? This is your freaking job, people. You are the ones who know that Malaria medication can be affected by diving, not me. I said I was going to Zanzibar ... surely they should have a list of countries where if the patient answers with one of them, your follow up question should be "Will you be diving?". Don't be trying to make it my fault for not informing her of my entire trip itinerary. Besides, I haven't dived on any of the previous trips where I've needed Malaria meds so how on earth would I know this?

I am so angry. I have to phone them again today now. I don't know if they'll swap my meds and refund me (at this point I'd honestly like a refund for my "consultation" as well since it was clearly a waste of time!) since they have signs up all over the place saying they don't take back medication. But as far as I'm concerned, this is their screw up and I am supremely unimpressed with them currently.

Update 10h12: Spoke to the nurse who saw me yesterday and she told me she'd been diving and using Malanil since 1999 with no trouble. So, I'm sticking with the Malanil, but still ... who do you believe in a time like this?


Anonymous said...

god, things like this are SO freakin annoying. i actually had a wave of irritation/anger for you when i was reading this.

Hope you get your money back.

Tamara said...

How annoying! I hate, hate, HATE being inconvenienced by someone else's incompetence / laziness.

My whole family used Malanil when in Zambia and Zanzibar too. None of us were asked if we dive or not.

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