Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Best health system in the world?

with 2 comments

Yes, that’s me laying on the radiation machine at the Peter Mac Cancer Centre just about to be nuked from both above and below.

The green laser beams are aligned with inked tatoos that they put on you so that they can relocate you exactly each time you receive the treatment.  The alignment procedure takes about five minutes and the actual radiation is about five seconds top and bottom.  There is no feeling associated with the treatment – all you hear is the buzz of the monster machine.

After the top has been done, the whole machine pivots on the wall and can be directed throughout the full 360 degrees to get to the area to be treated. (see next photo)

This is one of six machines at the clinic that are in full use every day.  They have more machines at Box Hill, Monash and elsewhere that are kept just as busy.

And, you know, this treatment costs you nothing – as does the daily transport to and from the clinic by ambulance – or the accommodation required for your stay in the city.

Show me another country where terminal or chronic illness is treated by the government’s national health scheme without out-of-pocket costs to the patient.  A friend, who spent many years living in the US was telling me today that she was rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.  After an overnight stay and being told it was a false alarm, she was sent home with a bill for some thousands of dollars.


Written by Greg Naylor

25 October 2011 at 11:25 pm

2 Responses

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  1. the Poms are pretty protective of their NHS too, even “slash infrastructure to the bone Maggie” (Thatcher) didn’t dare mess with the NHS.

    Don’t know if you’re a fan of the man but Michael Moore made a very interesting documentary called “Sicko” a little while back.

    Obviously impartiality isn’t the man’s style, but he does qute a good job of demonstrating the folly of privately funded health as a default.


    7 November 2011 at 1:02 pm

    • I have seen ‘Sicko’ and can recommend it as a way of appreciating what we have in Australia. I have been diagnosed with cancer for over three years and am pleased to tell you that the health system has not let me down in any way.

      At this back end of the disease, I am in need of some novel drugs such as Lyrica which offers effective relief from nerve damage pain. Unfortunately, it is one of those medications not on the PBS and we have to pay the full price ($~100 for a month’s supply). There are others in this category like Zofram wafers used to hold back nausea and vomiting at about $8 a tablet. They are only available on the PBS whilst one is receiving chemotherapy or radiation. At other times, you are on your own.

      Greg Naylor

      7 November 2011 at 5:11 pm

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