Cut-price surgery to fight greed
DOCTORS irate at their industry’s greed are offering heavily discounted surgeries and saving patients up to $70,000.
The quasi-pro bono service highlights how ridiculously high some surgeons’ fees have become and how inadequate health fund rebates are.
Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Macquarie University Professor Anand Deva is behind the program which covers post weight loss surgery, breast reduction surgery, breast implant revisions, bariatric surgery and is about to expand to hip and knee replacements.
More than 4000 privately insured low-income earners have applied to take part in the program and about 300 patients in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia have so far been treated.
However, Professor Deva says he has had trouble recruiting doctors to take part in the scheme. “If all surgeons did at least one access case a month, it would be great. I’m doing four,” he said.
Under the program, doctors accept Medicare and health fund rebates for the surgery and charge patients about $500 in gap payments for plastic surgery and up to $1000 for bariatric surgery.
This is a massive discount as commonly gap payments for plastic surgery exceed $20,000 per surgery. Access the program at www.accessprogram.org.au