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    Trevor Kerr

    A submission by ‘Private Cancer Physicians of Australia and Haematology and Oncology Clinics of Australia’ to Performance of Public and Private Hospital Systems inquiry does not go into actual costs (overall, or out-of-pocket) billed to people undergoing treatment.
    Harold Pollack, at The New Republic (If Reform Dies, So Will Thousands of Women) wrote “Women in other industrial democracies do not go bankrupt because they have breast cancer.”
    Surely, we ought to be aiming at Zero out-of-pocket costs for cancer treatments while striving to prevent unrestrained US-style billing. But first we need to know what are the costs and who is collecting the benefits. I guess that’s what the PC inquiry is about.
    Since it is not possible to compare costs (between public and private systems), until the PC sets out a framework, it would seem the ethical course for medical specialists in all disciplines is to lay off the emotional blackmail. (I do not mean to imply the Cancer Council does that).


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