Hay Shire Council has worked over several years to secure medical services for the Hay community, both General Practitioner and emergency doctor services at the Hospital.
Cost to the Community So Far
Health is not a function of local government, but in 2012, when Council secured the services of the Tristar Medical Group to Hay by providing rental subsidies, the Council had expended some $1 Million of community funds to assist the State and Federal Governments in carrying out their responsibilities. In the 6 years that Tristar operated in Hay, the costs to Council of rental subsidies for the Medical Centre, and two houses, plus the costs of providing three cars for the doctors has been around an additional $300,000.
As you will know, Council has attempted to persuade Tristar to transfer the medical records of Hay patients back to Council and Tristar has offered to transfer 5,000 records at $20 per record or a total cost of $100,000. Tristar has offered to transfer patients’ individual medical records to new doctors at a fee of $20 - $25 (the fee is capped by the NSW Government at $25).
Council is aware that some patients made payments to Tristar before their service ended in Hay at the end of February 2018 and the records have still not been transferred. In addition between 50 and 60 patients have contacted Tristar to ask for their medical records to be transferred to the Hay Aboriginal Medical Service and received no reply. Medical records should be transferred within a month of the request being made.
General Manager, Amanda Spalding said: ‘I have complained on behalf of the community of Hay to the NSW and Victorian Health Care Commissioners. I have heard back from the Victorian Health Care Commissioner who needs individual complaints from individual patients in order to take action. The actions they can take are to seek to resolve the individual complaints and if they cannot be resolved they can refer the matter to the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT can compel Tristar to transfer the records, and if Tristar do not comply VCAT can fine Tristar.’
‘I also understand that reports from specialists concerning the health of individual Hay patients have been sent by postal redirection to the Tristar Medical Group at Mildura, instead of being sent to the new doctors, either Dr. Arshed, or the Hay Aboriginal Medical Service. I have asked Tristar to fulfil their obligations of continuing care of patients by transferring these specialist reports to the GPs as soon as possible and have received no response. This is also a matter for complaint.
What Can I do?
Council is trying to estimate the number of patients in Hay whose medical records are with Tristar, and needs further information about the progress, or lack of it, in getting records and specialist reports transferred by Tristar, so we are asking you to complete the survey on the reverse of this newsletter and return it to Hay Shire Council by Friday 20th April 2018, 5pm.
You can also provide this information on line at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HayMedicalRecords
If you have requested your medical records from Tristar and they have not been transferred to your new doctor within a month, or if reports from specialists have been redirected to Tristar in Mildura rather than being sent to your doctor in Hay you should make complaints to the NSW Health Complaints Commissioner at http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au/
And the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner at https://hcc.vic.gov.au/
Sur vey - Medical Records
You can also answer this survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HayMedicalRecords
If you are concerned about confidentiality, please put your response in an envelope marked: ‘CONFIDENTIAL – General Manager’ and deliver it to the Council, and your information will be treated confidentially and will only be used to estimate the numbers of people affected.
1. If you and/or other members of your family were patients of the Tristar Medical Group in Hay please provide:
Email address: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phone number: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. Have you asked the Tristar Medical Group to transfer your medical records to a new doctor? Yes / No
If Yes when did you make this request? __________________________________________________________________________________
3. Which practice did you ask for your records to be transferred to?
4. Have your records been transferred to your new doctor? Yes / No
5. Have you paid for your records to be transferred? Yes / No
If Yes how much did you pay? __________________________________________________________________________________________
6. Are you going to make a complaint if you have not received your medical records within a month of requesting them? Yes / No
7. Are you going to make a complaint if you have had to pay more than $25 for the transfer of your records? Yes / No
8. Have you had any specialist reports redirected to Tristar in Mildura instead of them being provided to your new treating doctor? Yes / No
If Yes are you going to make a complaint? ________________________________________________________________________________
Hay Shire Council is committed to community engagement.
May we keep your information so that we can consult you in future? Yes / No
Closing date for this survey is Friday 20th April 2018, 5pm