We lost a customer today- a lady came in for an eye test, expecting to use her Medical Card, but the authorisation form had not been received by her from the HSE in Navan. She asked if she could pay privately and then be refunded when the Medical Card came to her- she had been told by one of the HSE staff that it was “on the way”.
Unfortunately we are not allowed to see medical card patients prior to authorisation- this seems like a silly rule in a situation such as this, but unfortunately it is a rule that the HSE strictly enforces, and is completely beyond our control. The fact that there is an approximate 8 week waiting list to have an application approved is also unfair- the HSE states that this should normally be authorised and returned within 28 days.
This situation is frustrating to the client, and also to us- she booked an appointment that she then did not attend, which leaves me time to write this when I should be working, and she then informed us that because of our refusal to break the rules she would go elsewhere. If there is someone in the area who does not follow the HSE rules, that is even more frustrating.
Coincidentally, we received another letter from the HSE this morning, once again stating that we are not allowed to test HSE clients before authorisation- a copy will be uploaded when I can get it scanned.
We have replied to the most recent letter to enquire why we cannot charge and refund at a later date- we will update if we receive a reply.