Medicare 'greeter' unwelcome
MEDICARE has become something of a sore point with many residents, who say the addition of a "greeter" at the door is a waste of funds.
Those looking to file claims are now required to give their names to a "liaison officer", who greets them when they enter the building.
Warwick resident Peter Breen said he was concerned that the officer was a waste of taxpayer money.
"I object to paying someone $50,000 or whatever a year to do something that is totally unnecessary," he said.
"Even worse, we probably pay the idiot who thought up the idea many times more than that.
"Surely we have better ways to use resources."
While Mr Breen acknowledges the system may be useful in larger localities, he said it was not necessary in Warwick.
"It's not as if the Warwick Medicare office is so busy that it needs such over-organisation," he said.
"The attitude seems to be 'it's only money and there is plenty more where that came from'."
Warwick Seniors publicity officer Mick McEniery said the Centrelink co-location itself was a sore point with seniors, who struggled with the highway location.
He said the old CBD shop front was much easier for elderly and disabled people to access.
"It's not as convenient for people, particularly those without a car," he said.
"We've had complaints from seniors who say they aren't happy and are finding it difficult to access."
Mr McEniery said many seniors relied on public transport to get them to the CBD were now burdened with finding a way to the Albion St office.
Department of Human Services Border Ranges Service leader Michelle Lees said the centre had received positive feedback about changes, with most people commenting about no longer having to stand in a queue.
"High quality customer service is of upmost importance to the Warwick service centre and the customer liaison officer who meets and greets customers at the door plays an important part in achieving this," Ms Lees said.
"The customer liaison directs customers to the appropriate staff member or service point, including self service, to ensure their enquiry is dealt with efficiently.
"Customer liaison officers can also assist customers with self service and other general inquiries."
Ms Lees said Medicare customers visiting the Warwick branch were not asked to provide the liaison officer with any information other than their name.
A customer liaison officer now meets and greets Medicare customers on arrival and takes their names.
The officer then directs people to the correct service point.