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Second opinion stalled

Monday, November 18, 2019

Interior Health Authority
When a bureaucratic process gets in the way of a patient’s rights.

Beth’s daughter was referred to Interior Health to be assessed for autism spectrum disorder. The initial assessment was completed, but the second part of the assessment, which includes an interview with the parent, was postponed due to concerns Beth had regarding the initial results.

Several months later, a second assessment was started, but the team was unable to complete the assessment at the time. Following the partial assessment, Beth’s daughter was referred to another assessment team for a second opinion and further testing.

Frustrated by the delay, Beth complained to the Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO). Unsatisfied with the response received from the PCQO’s review of her daughter’s case, Beth escalated her complaint to the PCQO Review Board. At that time, Beth was informed that her daughter’s assessment would be postponed until her complaints with the PCQO and the PCQO Review Board were resolved.

Due to the delays and feeling like she had no other choice, Beth paid for a private assessment for her daughter, which cost $2,600. She then reached out to us because she felt she was being treated unfairly.

We investigated Beth’s situation and determined that the PCQO Review Board should not cause a delay when a patient requires a necessary clinical assessment. We asked the health authority to write Beth a formal apology and to reimburse her for the cost of the private assessment. The health authority agreed to our recommendations and Beth received a written apology as well as reimbursement of the cost of the private assessment.

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