NIB is offering patients a 12-month guarantee on foreign surgery. Source: News Limited MEDICAL and security concerns have been raised about the new medical tourism business run by health fund NIB offering offshore plastic surgery packages. The health fund announced this week it was offering patients a 12-month guarantee on foreign surgery if they used overseas hospitals and doctors it had vetted. The business is a threat to high charging Australian doctors and the Australian Medical Association has warned it is turning health care into a commodity. AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton has warned even if the medical care is vetted and guaranteed increasing numbers of people who travel overseas are returning home with multi- drug resistant bacteria in their bowel that could pose a threat if the patient has complications following surgery. When you travel overseas and eat lettuce or a salad you could return home with a multi-drug resistant bug in your bowel, says AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton. That could start to hurt you if you have complications from surgery and end up in intensive care and we might not be able to treat the infection, he said. NIB is organising cosmetic and dental surgery packages combined with luxury accommodation in Thailand under the new business that is not restricted to its health fund members and does not involve health insurance. This is despite the fact the Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel warning for Thailand and is urging travellers to exercise a high degree of caution. It has warned Australians not to travel to the countrys southern provinces and says the situation in Bangkok is volatile due to civil unrest in surrounding elections particularly in Bangkok. NIB says it uses a leading international security firm to make assessments and recommendations on security. nib Options will not send customers to a location, which on the advice of our security firm, is not deemed safe, a spokesman said. The medical tourism business has received more than 350 customer inquiries through its call centre and website since it was launched on Tuesday. More than 3000 people visited the nib Options website in the first three days of its operation and nib has had to put on additional call centre capacity. Half the queries have been about cheap overseas dental care and 80 per cent of all people were interested in overseas cosmetic or overseas dental care, a spokesman said. Breast procedures are the most common cosmetic surgery inquiry with mummy makeovers combined tummy tucks and boob jobs also being very popular.
Australian Medical Association warns NIB turning healthcare into a commodity with medical tourism business
Australian MP proposes Doctor Who be filmed in Australia
George Christensen, a member of the ruling Coalition, wore one of actor Tom Baker’s trademark scarves in the House of Representatives as he used the fiftieth anniversary of the show to insist it is an “Australian institution”. He said the theme song was composed by an Australian, Ron Grainer, but resisted calls from across the chamber to sing it because “we have only got ten minutes”. “Australia is pretty similar to the UK in terms of its settings but I have got to say, imagine the Tardis landing near the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in the Australian outback, Uluru, Ayers Rock,” he told Parliament. “Think of all the exotic locations we could have.” The motion was supported by MPs and Doctor Who fans on both sides of the chamber, who were later photographed with a blow-up Dalek in the halls of Parliament. The motion has bipartisan support and is not expected to be put to a vote. Related Articles Are aliens really watching Doctor Who? 14 Nov 2013 Mr Christensen’s office told The Telegraph the MP attempted to bring a “real” Dalek a movable replica into Parliament House but security would not allow it. Instead, he flew his own blow-up Dalek to Canberra from the state of Queensland. “In the lead-up to this 50th anniversary of Doctor Who there are so many connections between this show and this nation that I think Doctor Who is as much an Australian institution as it has been a British institution,” Mr Christensen said. “In the lead-up to this debate there have been lots of MPs who have approached me telling me the same thing over and over, that when they were a kid they used to hide behind the couch and build cushion fortresses to protect themselves from whatever was on the screen, and they loved the show.” Mr Christensen said the show has been filmed abroad before and urged Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC, and other entertainment and tourism agencies to support the move. “It is great to have the Australian connection with it, but I think a greater Australian connection could come if a series were actually filmed down under,” he said.