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Crowdfunding for cancer surgery? In the US we paid next to nothing

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08.06.2019

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, shall we, as one Sydney surgeon called it last week: whether brain surgery on a patient diagnosed with a terminal illness is valid or not. Let me backtrack first …

Sydney neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has been in the media following criticism of the six-figure sums charged for his brain surgery expertise at the Prince of Wales Private Hospital. On Twitter, University of Sydney professor of surgery Henry Woo, who is also the director of uro-oncology at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, said there was something “seriously wrong if a terminally ill girl with a brain tumour has to raise $120K to have surgery’’.

Dr Teo defended his prices, saying he only received $8000 of a $120,000 bill and the majority went to the private hospital, and the broader issue of cost in Australia’s public/private healthcare system “needs to be discussed”.

Dr Charlie Teo says the vast majority of a $120,000 bill went to the private hospital.Credit: Quentin Jones

Woo argued: “If it was valid surgery, it could/should be performed in the public system under Medicare.”

They're both right. The idea of patients needing to set up GoFundMe campaigns struck an ethical chord in the medical community. The AMA and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons reminded their members to avoid excessive fees. Now Afterpay – the buy-now-pay-later credit........

© Brisbane Times