Before I launch into my current interesting situation, I must say up front I think our public health system is a wonderful thing and we must protect it at all costs!
However, there are times when I wish I was just “going private” and this is one of them! Yes, we do have private health insurance but right now the gap would be a bit beyond the budget, besides we’d probably end up at the RCH anyway.
Mr O Jnr 2 has a bit of a problem with his feet and/or lower legs. He tends to fall over his feet and walks with both feet at almost 45 degree angles (inwards). Dad says “But he was born like that”. I think we can improve the situation. When he was playing soccer, he would be limping badly by the end of the game. He denies he is in pain, but he must be to be limping, I think. If he has lived with this all his life, he would know no different, I guess.
Anyway, I consulted our GP (general practitioner) who suggested he be assessed by an orthopaedic specialist at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I asked whether we needed a referral. No, was the response, so I called the RCH. No, I needed a referral. OK, back to the GP. Got the referral and some x-rays!
On February 22 I faxed the referral to the RCH and hoped I wouldn’t lose the x-rays before we got an appointment.
On March 8 I received a text message telling me I would be advised when we were allocated an appointment.
By today, May 15, I was starting to wonder if we had been lost in the system. Well, that wouldn’t be unusual for us, would it? I was prompted to follow up as the patient mentioned to me his lower back was hurting. THAT may have more to do with school bags and books, but it did remind me to follow up.
I called the hospital. They advised they had rejected the referral, sending it back to the GP for more clinical information – on March 8! The same day I received the text message. OK, seemed odd, but I then called the GP, wondering why I hadn’t been notified. The GP’s office advised the only letter they have is dated March 6 and advises the referral is being processed. Now, I think a perhaps an 8 could look like a 6 on a scanned copy (they scan all correspondence onto the patient’s file), but never mind.
This weekend Mr O Jnr 1 committed THE cardinal sin! He played his first official game of Australian Rules Football instead of playing the game that Mr O says is “in his blood”, soccer. Kids want to try new things, so it is only natural that Mr O Jnr 1 would want to try out the local sport! Mr O did make an effort to understand the scoring and asked questions about frees and penalties, so he is learning…. Mr O tells the story of when he was first in detention here another detainee said “Come and watch the football” so he naturally assumed soccer. He couldn’t understand what on earth the game on the TV was at all!
I’ve been feeling down about the human species this week. Trust and integrity seem to be things of the past in many ways.
Over the last couple of years or so there just seems to have been a plethora of “No, no, not me, I am innocent” cries followed by “I am so sorry I stuffed up, please forgive me”.
Sports people do seem to be high on the list but they are by no means the only ones. The first high profile one recently was Tiger Woods and his women. Then we had Lance Armstrong and his drugs. We now have the Essendon Football Club (my team) drowning in accusations as I type. I am an Essendon supporter and have been for years. Hird has always been such a magnificent role model and I DO NOT want him to be one of the bad guys. Plus Mr O Jnr 1 has defected from soccer and is playing AFL for our local club which falls in Essendon’s catchment. If he is good enough…….
We’ve had politicians in it up to their eyeballs, from both sides of the fence. If I typed all their names, I’d fill this article with nothing else. No, don’t go telling me your party are all angels, they aren’t.
All of the ones I can think of protested innocence SO LOUDLY, Lance Armstrong probably loudest and longest, yet in the end the feet of clay crumbled and the stars fell. Then comes the pleading for forgiveness. You know what? As far as I am concerned, you can keep your high profile “I am only human” crap and just go away.
This is an update to yesterday’s article Did someone mention education funding?
I received another call today from the woman I had spoken to earlier in the week, let’s call her Ms J, who is helping us sort out the issue. Another long conversation, which I will try to summarise.
Basically, it appears we may have not been assessed correctly in June 2011. How did that happen? My GUESS is a couple of things. Firstly, like Miss O 1 not being able to do ESL as her English VCE subject based on “computer says no” (i.e. computer says Nigeria is an English speaking country, end of story), the assessors probably did the same thing. The two younger ones weren’t assessed at all, and it seems the people looking at Miss O 2′s English skills now believe that both the younger ones should have been assessed and NOT put in mainstream schools, but sent for intensive English classes. I am assuming the older two probably should have been as well. Secondly, lack of funding would have been an issue. More specific testing takes more time, more resources. That requires funding.
The access to the intensive English classes is only available for a period of time after arrival, technically the kids have now missed out and even if they hadn’t it would mean removing Miss O 2 from school for six months and placing her in classes in another (distant) suburb. The logistics of this would be impossible, as we would not be able to get here there and collect her as well as go to work ourselves. She is way too young to travel that distance by herself.
First up a warning: I am writing this as a mother. I am not a teacher, I am not trained in any aspects of the education department or system. I am a mother. I am also not criticising the schools the kids go to. They are great schools and are doing the best they can working within the system, policies, procedures and processes they have to work within.
I am a mother of four children who entered our public education system at various stages: years 3, 5, 8 and 10.
When the children arrived, we had the older ones tested to see if their English was of a suitable standard to allow them entry into mainstream schools. They were allowed entry into mainstream schools.
The younger two were not required to be tested, I gather the concept is that immersed in the local system, their English would rapidly improve.
We’ve been through various issues. Did Mr Year 8 have a hearing problem? About $200 later, no, he didn’t, he just needed extra help with English. This isn’t easily available, though. Outside school, he was too young for any of the government programs for migrants. This is the young man that put his head down and bum up and got himself into Maths A, so he isn’t dumb!
We had gone through the situation very carefully with both the schools. Yes, the children had attended school primarily in English, but it wasn’t the best English in the world. They needed to UNlearn then RElearn – makes life hard. One of the co-ordinators has recently told me students from Hong Kong have the same problem.
We discovered Miss Year 10 wasn’t allowed to do ESL as her English subject for Year 12 because officially she comes from an English speaking country. No, no, no. Miss Year 10 comes from a country where the official language is English, that is not nearly the same as an English speaking country. No provision for testing of language skills. Just treated the same as a kid from the USA or the UK.
OK – I’m exaggerating – we don’t have 20 kids, even if it feels like it sometimes. We are having the best and worst week, in the same week.
For some reason that escapes my befuddled brain, Miss 10, Mr 12 and Mr 15 (nearly 15) ALL went to camp the same week. So while we have five quieter nights with less noise machines, the logistics have been wearing!
Busy week, so this is a summary!
Love versus Goliath
I NEARLY have the file ready for the print on demand supply. A friend is helping out with the cover design. Bit concerned that the print on demand company, Lightening Source, hasn’t returned my emails or my phone calls, so I may have to look for another company, who will no doubt have different file specifications. Lightening Source’s file specifications are not for the novice, but they have the benefit of operating here and overseas. I will write about actually preparing the file later, when I actually have one to up load!
Have had great feedback to date and some marketing activity is coming to fruition over the coming weeks. Can’t say too much yet!
If you haven’t checked out where to get Love versus Goliath, click on the book in the side bar!
Pillar posts – those wonderful things that bring visitors to your site via search engines. I have mentioned before it seems to take a while for these to actually build regular traffic. One article that was published in January 2012 is going to clock up 10,000 page views tonight with a current average of 45 views a day. A much newer one has just clocked up 1,000 page views today and is chugging along nicely at an average 21 views per day. Yet a third is building nicely at 5 page views a day.