Working life: Anne Canty, HSE appeals officer

9am

My morning begins with reading and replying to the many emails I receive relating to medical card appeals. My correspondence is from clients, other HSE colleagues, public representatives, Ombudsman’s office, etc.

10am

I begin processing appeals and confirm that the correct guidelines were used in processing the application. Reasons for appeals are mainly on financial or hardship grounds.

12am

Decision letters are issued to clients, public representatives if applicable, and the Primary Care Reimbursement Service, which is responsible for making payments to doctors, dentists and pharmacists, for the free or reduced costs services they provide to the public.

2pm to 5pm

Occasionally I request further information from clients and sometimes phone them looking for clarification. A lot of my calls are from clients whose appeals have been unsuccessful, querying why they did not receive a card. Understandably this can sometimes be difficult and I spend time answering their queries and going through the appeal process with them. Sometimes they may not be happy with the appeal outcome but they are satisfied that their application and circumstances were given due consideration. Likewise, I receive calls and thank you cards from clients who are happy having received a positive appeal outcome.

6pm to late

Having had cancer in 2011, I have set up a programme for people who have had a cancer diagnosis, Cork Cancer Help Programme. I trained in 2014 at Commonweal, San Francisco, where the Cancer Help Programme was established. It’s an educational, integrated and professional programme. It gives an opportunity to look at changing needs and supports, discusses the difficult questions such as death and dying and the choices we now have as a result of our cancer journey.

Cork Cancer Help Programme is run in the evening to facilitate anyone who may be working. It’s a 10 week commitment and the current programme got underway on May 12 last.

The 2.5 hour weekly sessions provide an opportunity for people to explore the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of cancer and healing. It is free but donations are appreciated.

The programme is facilitated by Rose Crowley, nurse and psychotherapist and myself.

n For more information phone 087-4514802 or email corkcancerhelpprogramme@gmail.com.


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