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Support and perseverance pays off

30 November 2021

For many of us, accessing medical help is something we can happily rely on but for others, barriers exist, particularly if a person’s first language isn’t English and communication can be fraught and not easily translated.

Such was the case for a young Filipino man, Alberto*, who was attempting to enrol into a medical centre, only to be told by two practices that they were not enrolling new patients. That was, in fact, incorrect, leaving the young man in a predicament. Without professional support, it was highly likely he may have seen the barriers to accessing medical care to be too significant. If this was to happen, then what would the consequences be if he needed medical assistance? A visit to the Emergency Department? Becoming more unwell because early intervention was unable to be sought?

At the very least, the young man may have lost confidence in himself and in his ability to seek help when needed, having a detrimental impact on his health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for Alberto. Presbyterian Support’s Partnership Community Worker (PCW) Sue Amtman was able to step in and help him.

“Alberto had actually tried to enrol in three practices without success so I met with him, contacted the nearest medical practice to where he lives and made an appointment for later that afternoon. To make sure he would be eligible to become an enrolled patient, Alberto needed to have his visas, proof of address, passport and other documents. We went to the practice together 15 minutes before his scheduled appointment to complete the necessary enrolment paperwork. Our PCW service funded his appointment using a Pegasus Health healthcare voucher and Alberto is now an enrolled patient of the medical centre.”

“Unfortunately, this is the case for other people who face barriers to accessing medical help and when they aren’t supported, many will give up. Because the PCW service is about working with other health providers, it is incredibly valuable for people like Alberto.”

*Names and photos have been changed to protect privacy

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