The News – 27 August 2014

Overview

  • Treasurer Joe Hockey has refused to concede the GP co-payment is dead, despite Clive Palmer’s declaration that his party will not support even an additional one cent fee for patients.
  • Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years in what is believed to be the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy.
  • Former Geelong AFL player Matthew Egan is suing two doctors over the treatment of a foot injury that ended his playing career.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th August 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-26/hockey-refuses-to-concede-gp-co-payment-is-dead/5697974

Treasurer Joe Hockey has refused to concede the GP co-payment is dead, despite Clive Palmer’s declaration that his party will not support even an additional one cent fee for patients.

MPs have returned to Canberra for crucial spring sittings of Parliament, where debate continues over the future of billions of dollars of measures announced in the budget more than three months ago.

During the five-week winter break, senior ministers – including Mr Hockey – courted the crossbench senators in a failed bid to win enough support to pass the GP fee and other contentious proposals.

Mr Palmer appears to have today closed the door on any future negotiations over the $7 fee on GP visits, blood tests and X-rays, saying it is “dead” and there would be “zero” compromise from the Palmer United Party.

When asked if he would concede that the proposal was now dead, Mr Hockey replied “No” but would not comment any further.

Health Minister Peter Dutton also insisted the policy has not been killed off and said its prospects appear much more positive out of the public eye.

Mr Hockey continued to defend the budget measure.

The GP fee was expected to save the Government $3.5 billion over 5 years from July 1, 2015 – money which was to be invested in a medical research fund.

It would involve cutting the Medicare rebate paid to doctors by $5, requiring GPs to make up the money by charging patients an extra $7.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-26/foetus-skeleton-found-in-womans-abdomen-after-36-years/5697558

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years in what is believed to be the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy.

The woman, 60, became pregnant at the age of 24 but suffered a miscarriage because the foetus had been growing outside of her uterus, a doctor told news agency AFP.

The woman, from a poor rural area of central India, was “terrified” of having surgery to remove the remains of the foetus at the time and instead sought medication for the pain at a local clinic.

Although the pain gradually subsided, it returned years later and forced the woman to seek medical help at a hospital in western India.

Doctors felt a lump on the woman’s lower right abdomen and feared it could be cancer but further tests and scans revealed a calcified mass.

The doctors searched medical literature and discovered a woman in Belgium who had retained the remains of a foetus for 18 years following an ectopic pregnancy, the longest they could find on record.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes.

A team of doctors successfully performed surgery to remove the mass.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-26/former-afl-player-sues-over-negligent-foot-surgery/5697800

Former Geelong AFL player Matthew Egan is suing two doctors over the treatment of a foot injury that ended his playing career.

Egan suffered a stress fracture to his right foot in September 2007, which was operated on a few days later.

After a stand-out season that saw him picked in the All-Australian side, the injury forced him to miss the Cats’ premiership win later that year and he did not play another AFL game.

Egan, who is now an assistant coach at Essendon, is suing Mark Blackney, a foot surgeon, and Chris Bradshaw, a club doctor, for negligence.

Senior associate at Slater and Gordon’s medical law department Nick Mann said the consequences of the surgery were devastating for his client.

The lawyers say 15 days after the surgery, Egan suffered pain in his foot and was told to stop the rehabilitation program.

Egan declined to be interviewed while the case was before the court.

A spokeswoman for the Geelong Cats confirmed Dr Bradshaw was still the club doctor, but declined to comment on the case.

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