By Julia Medew – SMH.
Public hospitals are being asked to review their treatment of bowel cancer after a Victorian study found people cared for in private hospitals live longer than those treated in the public system.
Researchers studied 1065 patients with “stage four” bowel cancer – cancer that has spread to other organs – treated in Victorian public and private hospitals between 2009 and 2014.
Under Australia’s universal health care system, everyone with cancer should have equal access to prompt surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other medical services, regardless of their insurance status.
But the study, published in the Internal Medicine Journal this month, found that private patients were more likely to receive surgery to remove their cancer and to have chemotherapy.
The private patients also had a median survival time of 28 months from diagnosis compared to 20 months for public patients…read more.