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Medical Specialists and their abuse of power


Bruce
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Apparently, medical specialists in Australia have a monopoly protected by the government and within this monopoly, they are free to prevent any more new entrants than suits their pockets.

 

The obvious outcome of this is that they all have full patient bookings and earn 3 or 4 million a year.

 

The downside is carried by their patients, or would-be patients.

 

A friend who had a brain problem was told that it was over a year's wait to see a neurologist. He only got to see one sooner by turning up as an outpatient. He is dead now, less than the year since he was told about the waiting time.

 

Another person I know well needs to see a rheumatologist, so far ( a couple of months) no dice. The first one she was referred to had excess bookings and was refusing new patients.

 

I say blame your local federal MP. This situation is unionism gone crazy and could be fixed with the stroke of a pen. Gosh, imagine if plumbers had a similar monopoly.

 

 

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Barristers, Dentists and Medical Specialists in private practice have legislated themselves into monopolies. They form part of the economic aristocracy of this country and with by supporting conservatism in their own fields and in government, they hold us all to ransom.

 

If one of these leeches was stranded on the side of the road with a broken fretzle valve in their Mercedes, I'd love to see the look on their face if they were told that Road Assistance was overloaded with calls, but that they could expect a serviceman in a day or two.

 

 

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Octave

 

But not as a tourist.

 

Check the price list in OUR hospitals, for none Medicare people, I have checked three countries and would need to be very rich, to be in need overseas.

 

ANY rich member's here wishing to make me (or another) well. please be at liberty to put us in the private hospital scheme of things.

 

I can't dream of how they can charge those exorbitant prices.

 

spacesailor

 

 

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I have no idea about being a tourist here and needing medical attention however as a resident and having had a life threatening occurance I can only say that I am extremely grateful for the care I recieved for almost no cost that I would ot have recieved overeseas.

 

 

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Old K, it is not the medical graduates but the specialists that I am referring to.

 

Lots of those young medical graduates would love to become specialists, but they find out that it is a closed shop. Entry to being a specialist is NOT based on fair exams.

 

 

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And, old K , lots of straight "A" students didn't get into medicine. There was a time when you got extra points for "English being not your mother tongue" and without those extra points, it was impossible to gain entry. Yep the first-year of medicine looked like a foreign-student gathering.

 

 

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And, old K , lots of straight "A" students didn't get into medicine. There was a time when you got extra points for "English being not your mother tongue" and without those extra points, it was impossible to gain entry. Yep the first-year of medicine looked like a foreign-student gathering.

Are you sure abou that? When you say there was s time when was that time?

 

 

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....Lots of those young medical graduates would love to become specialists, but they find out that it is a closed shop. Entry to being a specialist is NOT based on fair exams.

Do you have clear evidence of this, Bruce? If true, there should be similar levels of outrage from the right wing media to their campaigns against abuses of Union power.

 

 

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University of Adelaide circa 1990. I was there, on a committee to do with enrollments. The governments of the day were worried about medicare costs blowing out, and they limited the medical places so that it was nearly impossible to get in. The university itself ( funded by the commonwealth) had no say on the matter.

 

They ( the commonwealth) don't do this now because it occurred to them that you only needed to limit the medicare provider numbers to contain this cost.

 

But to this day, they limit the specialists costs by limiting the number of specialists. And how? By letting the colleges...er...unions.. decide the number of mouths at the trough.

 

And yes we are better off than in the US where the AMA controls the GP's too on the same deal as our specialists.

 

 

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And, old K , lots of straight "A" students didn't get into medicine...

High marks alone do not indicate a person is suited to becoming a doctor. There are stories of hard-working Asian students missing out on medicine but gaining entry to Vet Science, despite never having seen farm animals.

 

Yonks ago Newcastle Uni pioneered a new approach to selecting medical students that placed much emphasis on aptitude. This allowed one of my students to become a doctor.

 

 

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High marks alone do not indicate a person is suited to becoming a doctor. There are stories of hard-working Asian students missing out on medicine but gaining entry to Vet Science, despite never having seen farm animals.Yonks ago Newcastle Uni pioneered a new approach to selecting medical students that placed much emphasis on aptitude. This allowed one of my students to become a doctor.

Old K, when Howard wrote up his anti-union laws, he had to exempt the medical unions...er...colleges.. at every turn.

Well Bruce, that would not surprise me. All the other unions support the Labor Party, but doctors should support the Libs...

 

 

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I have no idea about being a tourist here and needing medical attention however as a resident and having had a life threatening occurrence I can only say that I am extremely grateful for the care I received for almost no cost that I would not have received overseas.

That's because we have accepted Medicare, which is simply universal insurance for medical treatment. The real costs of medical treatment are not the salaries paid to the sawbones, but the cost of equipment (we all want to be treated with the latest bit of medical technology) and the cost of consumables. After that, I suppose a massive component would be the cleaning bill, not only the floors and walls, but the sheets and pillow cases.

 

If it takes ten personnel to keep one soldier in the field, it must take a hundred to keep a surgeon at his job.

 

 

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New Entrants into medicine DO expect to live well. I've engaged them a few times when I've been waiting half naked on a trolley. They are not too amused when the truth is chucked at them. When I go to a new specialist I try to find out what car they drive. It's often a Lambo or Ferrari and they are not cars, they are status symbols on wheels. Some of the "newer" entrants have NO bedside manner whatsoever. "Just DO as I say" is the way they operate. There are of course, some very good ones but hard(er) to find. You have to be intelligent to get into those fields but you need more than intelligence. You need empathy and insight into humans and a bit of humility..Not GOD works through MY hands. Medicine is great but is not perfect . A fee for service system is also prone to over-servicing., Nev

 

 

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Never thought about checking the cars Nev. I do dislike it when the only magazines in the waiting room are Vogue types ( there are several ) which have plainly come from the specialist's wife. How to struggle by on 50,000 a week ? you need help from vogue.

 

 

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A lot of generalizations here. Specialist in private practice are well paid (as they should be) but I agree that at the top of the profession remuneration is over the top. What is an acceptable fee for a cardiac surgeon's services?

 

I am a private musical instrument teacher (some people think I charge too much) and I have a young student whose house I go to to teach. His mother is quite a senior Nephrologist in the public system. Their house is nothing special (although better than mine) I can assure you that they do not own any fancy cars, her partner drives a quite old 4wd which was probably expensive in its day and she drives a Kia. Their kids go to a private school and they do go overseas once a year. This seems fair to me, I am not envious.

 

The median pay for an Australian airline captain is $152569 and can be as high as $249110 this does not mean that most airline pilots are necessarily driving around in Ferraris.

 

On another note, I have been meaning to ask for some time, is everyone on this forum unhappy?

 

 

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For those who live in the rarified atmosphere of wealth and influence, there is a peer pressure to conform - send the kids to the right school, drive the right car, live in the right neighbourhood in a suitable house, be a member of the right clubs (plural, note) and wear the right clothes. A cousin of mine was up there in one of the big 4 banks, and his father told me the pressures to conform were extreme. By conforming, you would make the right contacts, hear the latest relevant gossip (sorry, insider information) and set yourself up for advancement. The sort of salary that would make me very comfortable doesn't cut it when you need to pay the gardener penalty rates to clean the place up after every Saturday night dinner party, when the catering company refuses to do it.

 

I wonder what the lease fees are on a Lamborghini - I bet they don't own it!

 

David the Happy Broke (well, comparatively speaking ....)

 

 

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To plurry right I'm happy, Octave! I have enough to eat, nobody is trying to kill me and I can wander out into the yard and pee on a citrus tree anytime I wish.

 

One thing that makes me very happy is to be able to read these posts and debate with people without fear of persecution; we live in the Lucky County.

 

 

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By comparison with the rest of humanity, we are all among the rich. Gosh, owning an aircraft must put you into an elite group.

 

Personally, I don't feel envy towards those who are richer than me, but I certainly reserve the right to complain about government policies which divert my tax money in a stupid manner. And giving monopoly commercial power to a small group such as medical specialists is plain stupid.

 

For example,some years ago, my gp was not allowed to prescribe a particular skin treatment drug, so I was referred to a specialist ( who did indeed have a very expensive sports car) who didn't even look at his new patient while he scribbled out the prescription. That would have cost the taxpayer hundreds of dollars.

 

I can think of many ways that money could have been better spent.

 

 

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I know people with far more and far less wealth that me and one thing stands out: most of the rich have worked hard for their wealth and have to work hard to keep it. Lots of people don't have their level of stress.

Not to mention a degree of ruthlessness. I am distantly related to some very wealthy relatives - one of them made it into the BRW top 200 in his own right and the family appeared a couple of times. This family was self-made - at the time my generation was the third generation (grandchildren) of the wealth line (if that is the right term). The distant relatives family for the purposes of this started as two grandparents (of my generation). They spawned 3 children, who between them spawned 8 further children of my generation - let's say the grandchildren. My father was somehow related to the grandfather - I think as half-brother or something. Alas,the closest we ever came to the BRW top 200 was purchasing a copy when we knew they were in it.

 

We used to gather at family occasions (festive stuff, weddings and the like) and I have to admit I was pretty envious of them - not because of their material wealth - as to be honest, apart from driving Jags, they didn't show off their wealth in any great way; the kids of my generation were not spoiled brats - but rather were well-behaved and considerate.I was envious of the closeness of the whole family; there was a real bond between all of the three generations that resulted in mutual affection and support.

 

Sadly, one mother of the kids of my generation passed away quite young (around 40 I would say). It was devastating for the family - however, the closeness was exemplified with how they rallied around and supported each other. Forgetting any sort of wealth, this was the sort of family dreams are made of.. The eldest of her 4 children were married; one about to graduate; one embarking on an undergraduate course and the other in year 10 (I think). One of the things they did not have to worry about was any financial burden, as although their mother was very active in the family firm, their uncles also were and from that perspective, the empire just ticked over happily (from a financial perspective).

 

Son number 2 graduated and became reasonably successful in his occupational pursuit. These kids were all very bright and street-smart. After a while (once he had married, had a couple of kids of his own), he decided he wanted out of the family business to pursue his own interests - something he was quite entitled to do. Well, this is when things got ugly. The uncle in control of the family business wanted nothing of it - money makes money and if one takes out a wad of that money - there will be less to be made. The uncle was ruthless in his pursuit of containing and controlling the family wealth.. .As far as I know, it was a bitter dispute that went for many years and if not the highest court in the state, the highest court in the land. The son eventually won, but it completely split up that family - a few years ago, I met some of the grandhildren at a park in Melbourne.. After pleasantries and short family histories exchanged, I asked how their cousin was.. the response from both in complete synchronisation was an icy blank stare as if I was not even there. I quickly changed topic...

 

The family empire is still flourishing; the son's business took off and was bought out by an international conglomerate; Yet a family destroyed.

 

 

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