I have a serious medical issue.
In early 02/21 I called to make an appointment with a particular specialist. I was told she could see me in mid March, but that would be a tele-health appointment. I asked what the fee would be (circa $400, ie the same as a face to face meeting) and promptly rejected tele-health. I asked when I could see her face to face. I was told 6/04/21 and I accepted. I was told that if I cancel within 2 business days of the appointment date, then I would be up for the cancellation fee.
2 or 3 days before the appointment date I was sent a reminder of the appointment and asked to reply to confirm my attendance. I did so.
On 6/04/21 about an hour before the appointment I received a SMS informing me that the doctor just changed the appointment to tele-health (no reason given, no apology made) and I will be called at the appointment time.
I immediatly called the practice and asked if the tele-health is to be bulk billed because I am not paying full freight for a lower quality appointment. I made clear that I was assured in 02/21 that the appointment would be face to face. That is why I waited 2 months!
I was told full freight would be the charge for tele-health.
I said to the receptionist that this in fact a unilateral cancellation by the doctor of a service agreed to and a lower quality substitute is being offered. I rejected the tele-health and asked when can I see her for a face to face.
I was told “we have a couple of days in mid May”. Before agreeing to a date I asked “is there any guarantee mid May will not at the last hurdle be unilaterally changed to tele-health”? The receptionist could not guarantee that it may be changed, like the 6/04 appointment was. I did not proceed to make a new appointment.
To find an alternative specialist is quite hard. So far no luck.
Question: Can NSWFT or NCAT compel the specialist to provide the service (without delay) contracted in 02/21, given an alternative is either hard to find or if found, will require a long wait until an appointment is actualised.
Note: I am not after money. I am after seeing this doctor and arranging medical tests asap. I really do not have the stamina to wait another 3 months or so for another specialist.
All views welcome.