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Nurse Practitioners Are Not Recognized By Medicare

according to O'Connell, it is double work, which put down our capacity and negates our capability. The 450-page report, which is to be discussed, by the federal Government and the Council of Australian Governments has included a number of amendments such as assigning individual review committee.

These will determine which services and health workers should be included under Medicare and also the issue on rebate. The report said that it clearly acknowledges the fact that health professional provides services that are equal to that of the doctors in both quality and safety.

It is also said in the report that due to this Medicare benefits schedule there is a possibility of hampering the development of new modes of care.

One such instance is that of the Physiotherapist Trish Neumann. He specializes in pelvic floor problems and treats stress urinary incontinence. This condition is very common and affects one in three Australian women. It is frequent among middle and old age people.

He said in 1998 the treatment costed about $339 million and is expected to increase in the next 20 years with 88 per cent of those costs going on surgery.

Neumann conducted a survey questioning 274 women in 35 centers across the country. He found that the surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence costed about $4500 to $6000 per patient. In case the surgery is conducted in a public hospital Medicare covers the bills of the patient.

On the other hand five physiotherapy sessions which would cost $300 and assures 80% cure is not covered by Medicare and has limited coverage under private health insurance. Since Medicare covers surgery patient assumes that it is the treatment and results in complete cure but physiotherapy does not result in complete cure.

But US standards bodies have recommended non-surgical treatment like physiotherapy, which has a high success rate and is cost effective. Statistics show that 86 per
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