Sex in the city?
You’ve no doubt read the headlines: Perth medico Dr Stephen Adams is being sued by embattled Westpoint founder Norm Carey for allegedly taking sex therapy to a new level with the (now former) Mrs Carey. Norm said the alleged affair was a “distraction” that had a “detrimental effect on the Westpoint Group, and in turn, a detrimental effect on its value with the result that (I) would suffer loss and damage.” With a $50m lawsuit, this has to be one of the most expensive trysts in history. Maybe Norm has a sense of humour (or irony) that his massive lawsuit belies – his statement of claim, originally filed in 2003, was made public on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps the investors who lost $300 million of their retirement savings in the Westpoint collapse will see the funny side of this whole debacle.
In the bad books
The Professional Services Review committee has published its second report and it makes for juicy reading. One Perth medico settled with the PSR following allegations of a seemingly ridiculous number of services and inappropriate prescriptions of drugs of dependence, compounded by poor records and a high percentage of long consultations. The result? The medico agreed to repay $30k and was banned from Medicare for 3 years. Another (outer metro) Perth GP is battling the PSR over allegations of excessive services in a case that has dragged on for 5 years. It’s alleged the doctor rendered 80 or more services on 44 days, breaking the 80/20 day rule. Given the shortage of doctors in outer metro areas, one can only wonder who else would see these patients?
Old and (re)tired
It’s official: WA GPs are getting thin on the ground and long in the tooth. Australian Institute of Health & Welfare figures show that between 2000 & 2004, fulltime equivalent doctors per 100,000 population in WA dropped from 245 to 230. The national average is 283. The reduction affects both the public and private sector despite a 14% head count increase, and reflects a drop in working hours. 73% of GPs are over 45 and 40% are over 55. With the cohort of docs who arrived from the UK in the 1960s due to retire over the next 5 to 10 years, and medical graduates slow to take up the slack, could WA GP numbers soon be at crisis point?
Less teen angst
In an Australian first, and following a $5m upgrade, PMH now has a specialised teenage oncology section. The unit is expected to treat 50 teenagers with various cancers each year. Until now, teens were either mixed with either adults or younger children. Research has shown that teenagers respond positively in a dedicated area. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the healthy ones who won’t move out of home.