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VIC Roads health audits on Sleep Apnea sufferers
#1
Hi All

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.
Background:

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.
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#2
:Welcome:

I get the impression that this is standard operating procedure in the Commonwealth.
Such as Canada and Australia.

It's a fact for commercial vehicle drivers in the US. Probably coming to passenger car drivers in the near future.

There are a few from Oz on the forum - I'm sure they will add to the conversation.

Might help if you edit your location in "control panel" to reflect where you are; although your thread title is clear where you are.

Regards,

Mongo
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
I have not heard of this in Canada, but it would not surprise me. It probably varies by province here as this falls in the realm of provincial (i.e. US state) authority. But it does not seem unreasonable to me.
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#4
I haven't had this experience nor heard of it happening here in WA.

I agree with Chevy59 that this type of action by the authorities unfairly penalises those who are trying to do the right thing. Ultimately it is a self defeating course of action, as it will discourage people from seeking medical assistance in the first place, or reporting their condition if diagnosed.

DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#5
(05-02-2016, 11:51 PM)DeepBreathing Wrote: I agree with Chevy59 that this type of action by the authorities unfairly penalises those who are trying to do the right thing. Ultimately it is a self defeating course of action, as it will discourage people from seeking medical assistance in the first place, or reporting their condition if diagnosed.

It seems unfair to me too. Wasn't there a post by a person in Queensland whose Dr reported her; and they pulled her license?

I do recall a person in Canada who was hoping to regain their license by showing compliance to CPAP. But, as was stated, it probably varies by Province.

What really surprised me about this OP is reporting high cholesterol to a motor vehicle authority. I don't think the FAA even requires that for an aeromedical physical.
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
why is the government targeting self reporting sleep apnea sufferers-If everyone kept up with their treatment, then no need, however many people stop using CPAP's

rather than those out there who probably don’t know they have sleep apnea- how do you find someone that no one, including the person, knows they have sleep apnea. With a Dx the go into the first group or the last group.

or do know and don’t seek treatment - wonder if there is some liability if someone causes an accident and knew they had SA but were not treating it. Here is the US that sounds like a law suit if not criminal (or at least on it's way to be)
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#7
(05-03-2016, 12:18 AM)justMongo Wrote: It seems unfair to me too. Wasn't there a post by a person in Queensland whose Dr reported her; and they pulled her license?

Yes there was and I don't know if, at this stage, she got her licence back.

I did my sleep study through a bulk billed group called SNORE Australia. It was possibly their responsibility to advise Queensland Transport about my condition which they didn't - thank God! Or maybe it was my GP who was meant to do it. He's a personal friend and wouldn't have bothered.

As far as I am concerned, the only medical info I'll ever pass on will be to medical professionals. Not to a bunch of bureaucrats in a government department! Grief is the only consequence of doing so. The only medical details on my licence is my prescription glasses and that's the way it's going to stay.

If you really want to test out the system, get your local GP, if you know him/her well enough, to tell VIC Roads that you are cured. Let's see what happens then.

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#8

You can download the austroads doc here . Of course Vic Roads my have there own guidelines. I'm in NSW and when I was bus driving I had to get signed off by a sleep doctor every year . I believe it's the same for any commercial driver. Maybe they want to start it for all drivers with a medical condition.

http://www.austroads.com.au/drivers-vehi...le-drivers
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#9
Hi Chevy59,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Much success to you as you continue your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#10
(05-02-2016, 09:26 PM)Chevy59 Wrote: 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.
They only know what we tell them, same with me
I'm in NSW, RTA send me a yearly form to be signed by the doctor to keep my license

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