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AMA’s scan warning

THE president of the Australian Medical Association of Queensland has warned some mobile health screening companies may encourage people to pay high prices for unnecessary testing.

Hervey Bay GP Dr Shaun Rudd said some private screening companies used advertising to market themselves as vital services to people who may not require testing.

"People should talk to their GP before they sign up to any sort of screening because some of these things they seem to be advertising you wouldn't normally do for every person," he said.

"These services appear every one or two years and come in, clean up, especially off the elderly people, and away they go again."

Dr Rudd was responding after local doctors complained to The Chronicle that several of their elderly patients had received flyers in the mail from preventive health screening service Screen For Life, which advertises screening packages from $199.

A Screen For Life spokesman said not enough was being done to fight stroke and heart disease, which are preventable and that early screening was part of the solution.

"Screening people who have at least one risk factor for stroke but are asymptomatic is legitimate because most strokes occur with no warning," the spokesman said. "Tests are generally not offered through a GP unless the person already has symptoms."

Dr Rudd said while services offered by health screening companies were not improper, people should always check their GP first.

"You can go and get a whole body MRI scan if you wanted to pay the money for it," Dr Rudd said.

"If you actually need some of these tests done, you will be able to get them through your GP and it wouldn't cost you anywhere near that amount of money."

Topics:  ama, hervey bay




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