Friday, April 11, 2008

Medi-maybe-care.

At the advise J i went into the Docs last week to get a large freckle/flat mole looked at on my foot. I'd been meaning to do it for a while, it had been getting a fare bit of sun and had definitely turned a couple of shades darker.

My Indian born doctor, who is pretty cool, took all of two seconds with his little magnifying glass to say "its coming out". I quickly asked if it was a bad mole that could be cancerous almost as if i wanted confirmation, with a very certain face he replied "Yes, i don't think its cancer, but its certainly at risk of becoming skin cancer".

So another appointment and $100 later and the little bugger is gone with two stitches in its place. As i was getting down from the bed i ran the question if this procedure was covered my Medicare and quickly got a "no" and a long reason as to why (which i couldn't really make sense of through his thick Indian accent). So i went out to the reception, payed my $100, and was given a hand written receipt. I wasn't to concerned, but i had to go into Medicare so i thought id run it past them and get a clear answer as to why the removal of an obviously dangerous mole would not be covered at all by Medicare.

Upon handing over the hand written receipt and explaining my situation the lady behind the desk, who refereed to head office of Medicare as "big brother", she seemed to be just as puzzled as i was about the situation. After a small crusade and a lengthy phone call she returned to tell me that "only moles that have had a biopsy first, identified as cancer, then removed are covered by Medicare.

I didn't, and still don't understand it. I would have thought if a GP can specifically identify that a mole is in a dangerous location and is of a cancerous type, i.e. BAD, removing it would be in the best interest of the patient and the government. I don't have a problem affording the 100 every now and then to get one removed, but what about the uni students, low income earners who possibly couldn't and need some form of help. Isn't that what medicare is for??? Only last week i saw an add on TV about skin cancer and a girl not making it to her 26th birthday. I would have thought the hospital beds people take up while getting treated would cost way more than what the loss would be helping out Australians with some of the $100, not to mention the presevation and respect of human life! I don't get it.

Skin cancer is a serious problem from what i understand, so why doesn't the government support preventing it in possibly one of the most vital and effective ways? Just my opinion, i could be wrong, but i just don't get it. Seems a little crazy. Why wait for the person to get cencer? It just going to travel throught the blood once its there. Not cool.