When you are diagnosed with cancer, it can be very overwhelming. Often, your family and friends do not know how to deal with the situation. If you have any questions or if you feel you’re not getting the treatment you need, you can go to Campaigning for Cancer’s Project ASK for assistance. Through this project’s website and call centre, Campaigning for Cancer can provide you withthe tools and a step-by-step guide you may need to help answer some of the questions you are faced with through your cancer journey.
The project’s website – www.campaign4cancer.co.za - will provide you with reliable, credible information about all areas of your cancer journey in an easy to understand manner.
The call centre – 0861 ASK KNOW (0861 275 669) - is a reliable place where you can get all the information and support you and your family may need. Through Project ASK, Campaigning for Cancer plays the role of an informed partner and compassionate coach, helping patients to become active participants in their treatment and to recover a life that they may feel is out of control.
Campaigning For Cancer
Mobile: 0861 ASKNOW
Website URL: www.campaign4cancer.co.za
Trust your gut, sometimes our feelings that something is unfair, means it most likely is.
Keep your cool! Do not get angry – the person on the other side of the line is probably not the person who is making the decisions and is just trying to do his or her job. If you get mad, you may not get through to a person who will solve your problem.
Always keep records of who you spoke to, when it was and what was said. Keep copies of all correspondence, emails, faxes, sms’s, etc. If you have to submit these documents as proof, do not submit the originals and always keep an extra set of copies in a safe place.
On letters, documents, etc: write down who received the document and when it was delivered or sent. If you receive a letter back, write down when you received the letter (click through – do not take the date on the letter as the date it was sent or received).
If the discussion or responses are in a type of language you do not understand (medical terminology, legal terminology, abbreviations or acronyms). Ask the person who wrote the letter to give you understandable explanations (plain language explanations). Also ask for assistance from your doctor or patient support groups if you do not understand any of the answers given to you.
There is a law that you can use to access any information from your medical scheme. It is called the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). You can use it to get copies of letters, discussions, findings, recordings of telephone conversations, etc from your scheme. There is a specific form that you have to fill out (click-through to PAIA requester form, with sections completed eg the right they are protecting). The form should go to the Information Officer at the scheme – all schemes should have an Information Officer, otherwise you fax it to the Principal Officer. They may ask you to pay a small fee for photocopying costs and to fill out a so-called “Requester Form”.
Get the support of your doctor/social worker/nurse at the practice. S/he may have important information which could help your case.
If people tell you that what you are saying is not right, tell them that you have received the information from a good source.
Do not feel intimidated by threats of the law, or any bad consequences for you. Patients have the law on your side.
In public hospitals and clinics, there has to be someone who is the Complaints Officer. If you are unhappy, immediate go to him/her.
Information provided by Campaigning for Cancer
- (Health24, December 2011)