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    I would like to see an investigation into over servicing in the private health system. This includes unnecessary pathology tests, hospital admissions and medical treatments. An example of unnecessary pathology tests are: all newly diagnosed women with breast cancer (and no other co morbidities) being routinely given CT with contrast of chest, abdo, pelvis, nuclear med bone scans, chest X ray and liver ultrasound, BEFORE ANY SURGERY by private specialists. An examples of private hospital admissions that would never be recommended for public patients is: chest pain that has resolved and all tests have come back clear, shortness of breath that has resolved with oxygen saturations of 95% or over (not on oxygen). An example of medical treatment that provides minimal benefit to either private patients or the tax payers is chemotherapy for grade one cancer.
    I makes me really angry when I hear about ‘making the public system more efficient’. Why don’t politicians look at private system rorts? Is there lobbying going on behind the scenes to leave the private system alone, so it can quietly continue to waste tax payers money and line the pockets of private specialists?

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    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    Delia, you may be interested in some relevant comments from Professor Andrew Wilson, Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, in this recent post on ideas for the media on pre-election investigations:
    His comment included this:
    “About 50 per cent of hospital care and 70 per cent of other healthcare is provided in the private sector, yet the overwhelming discussion is around performance of public sector hospitals. Almost all private healthcare is publicly subsidised through either the private health insurance rebate or the MBS and PBS. There seems to be continuing support in the Australian community for a mixed public, private model. However, there is little discussion about what this means, about the expectations of the private sector and on its performance.”


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