"Terrible experience. Treated like trash, miscommunications are rampant. Accused of no-shows when rescheduled appointments. Nearly denied service due to supposed no shows. Made to wait over an hour at one appointment because the doctor didn't show up.. " Google review of Southeast Lancaster Health Services, posted last week.
It took them four visits to get it right.
Added to that difficulty was the fact they never answer the phone or return phone messages. Not sometimes. Never. I had to travel to the clinic every time to schedule an appointment to be seen, then return a second time for the actual appointment.
Messages left on their patients’ web portal were never answered either.
Ask staffers why and they just shrug, and say that’s how it is. Ask them how people are supposed to schedule an appointment if they don’t have a car, or are in a wheelchair, and just getting to the clinic to see the doctor or the dentist is already challenging enough for them, let alone having to physically go there just to set the appointment in the first place. Same shrug. Talk to the wall.
Additionally, SELHS doesn't schedule more than 30 days ahead. If you’re there to see a doctor and want, for example, to schedule a dental cleaning appointment in five weeks, you’re out of luck. You have to physically return to the clinic just to set that next appointment.
I wrote to SELHS president and CEO Hilda Shirk asking why, because I wanted answers, not for myself but for people with disabilities, or people without a motor vehicle, or who couldn’t afford bus fare. How do people schedule appointments at SELHS if nobody answers the phone or returns phone messages?
She never replied.
I kept asking staffers why until someone got fed up with the questions and decided to make it personal and deny me service. I am now locked out from SELHS just for speaking up.
A couple days after receiving the letter denying me service at SELHS in perpetuity, I landed a second part-time job, boosting my income above and beyond SELHS’ sliding fee scale. Which is great -- for now. But life can change in an instant. Sickness, disability, the loss of one of my jobs could once again put me in need of help. Then what?
“We deliver high-quality and compassionate healthcare to all” -- no questions asked?
While SELHS top layer is vanilla, below is chocolate: Front desk staffers and dental technicians are nearly 100 percent women of color. Men? Don't ask.