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YOUR SAY: Should the morbidly obese get free gastric band surgery?April 17, 2015:
The Australian Medical Association of Queensland is calling for free gastric band surgery to treat the morbidly obese. The controversial idea is one plank of a five-year health plan aimed at improving the health of Queenslanders by 2020. AMA Queensland president Dr Shaun Rudd said the state’s health system was feeling the pinch, with more than 1.5 million people expected to be diagnosed as obese in the next five years.
Should morbidly obese patients receive free surgery? Vote and comment on the Newspapers site HERE.“We’ve got a huge crisis in Queensland, we’re 10 percent fatter than any other state,” he told Karl Stefanovic on TODAY.
Dr Rudd said the costs of offering the surgeries for free would be recouped within 12 months as patients’ health improved. The surgery would only be available to a small number of obese people. “It has to be targeted, it’s not for everybody,” Dr Rudd said. “It’s for patients who have tried their very, very best to lose weight and just cannot do it.” Education on the process and the battles faced by those who undergo the operation is an important step, Dr Rudd said. “It’s not an easy thing to do. “They’re not going to be able to eat like they have done before.” The surgery involves applying a band around the top of the stomach, which reduces appetite. As a result, the patient is satisfied with a smaller amount of food for longer, promoting healthier eating levels and weight loss. The operation can be reversed and the gastric band can be adjusted as required. It varies from a gastric sleeve, which involves removing around two thirds of the stomach using a stapling device and is not reversible.