Reference/topic: Seemingly unfair expectations on responsible sleep Apnea suffers.
I am a new member and am interested to know if my recent experience with Vic roads is something other sleep apnea sufferers have gone through and whether this issue for discussion.
I applied for a learners motor bike licence about four years ago and on the application I provided medical history (sleep apnea, high blood pressure & high cholesterol, all being adequately treated), I was granted the licence.
As a result of what I understand is a recent change in legislation, Vic Roads are now implementing regular audits on previously reported health issues related to suitability to hold a drivers licence. A few months ago as part of an audit I received a request to seek a report from my local doctor on the original health conditions reported (via the licensing requirements). I did not see this as a big issue and subsequently my doctor reported back to Vic Roads that the three conditions I had registered were being treated and well under control (confirming use of CPAP, blood pressure and cholesterol medication). Vic Roads then wrote back indicating they were happy to accept blood pressure and cholesterol treatment were fine but wanted me to consult a sleep specialist for further information on my sleep apnea. It cost over $200 in doctors fees and of course a considerable amount of time to organise. Having said that, I appreciate the need to keep our roads safe so as a once off, thought that I had established that fact. My specialist made it clear that since being diagnosed in about 2001 had taken all steps to ensure ongoing treatment and control of my sleep apnea (all detailed in the specialist report which was backed up with downloaded data which showed almost 0% sleep apnea events per night for last 7 months). Latest letter from Vic Roads states that “your recent sleep specialist report is satisfactory and you may keep your drivers licence” and “you will need to provide a medical report in April 2018”. The implication being I will have to go through this process every two years (I have written to Vic Roads asking for clarification of this). My questions to the forum are, (1) has anyone else had this experience, (2) is it fair that those who have undertaken the responsibility to be diagnosed and ensure subsequent treatment be singled out for ongoing audits (rather than a once off) particularly when they can show ongoing CPAP use and have outlaid thousands in CPAP technology and they still have the responsibility (as set out by Vic Roads) to report any changes in their condition, (3) why is the government targeting self reporting sleep apnea sufferers rather than those out there who probably don’t know they have sleep apnea or do know and don’t seek treatment and are therefore much more likely to cause road accidents (education should be the key). Finally, I don’t see why as a responsible sleep apnea suffer who has his condition under control, faces the potential of having to fork out approximately $200 very two years to prove I am still being responsible, the driver of behaviour should be the knowledge that if you do not treat your condition and cause an accident, you could be found responsible and liable. (Vic Roads website “Failure to report a medical condition or disability may put your life and the life of others at risk, and may also jeopardise your insurance cover”) I would be interested in others views on this and whether you think it is a bit of a storm in a tea cup or an issue worth discussing.