Reality bites: Lack of cash stops many Bathurst people seeing dentist | Western Advocate

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A NEW study released this month has found up to 25 per cent of people aged 15 and over in Bathurst have delayed seeing a dental professional in the last 12 months due to concerns over the cost. The study, released by the NSW Council of Social Service, maps economic disadvantage across NSW. Australian Dental Association NSW president Dr Kathleen Matthew said delaying dental health treatments put people’s overall health at risk. Dr Matthew said it was “clearly concerning” one in four people are delaying dental treatment because they can’t afford it. “I think that’s a very important conversation to have with the population.” She said the flow on effects from not getting treatment include pain and dental stress which only gets worse, costs more money and requires higher intervention in the end. Dr Matthew also said the lower end of social economic scale are more vulnerable to dental disease with dental disease the most chronic disease there is in the community, worldwide. ALSO MAKING NEWS: “It’s (dental) the missing part of the health system … if you visit the GP it’s subsidised by the government if you get a script filled subsidised by the PBS.” Complicating the matter are the extensive wait lists for public dental services. “The waiting list for the public system is a two door system…. if you have dental pain or infection there is a triage system in place but that’s just to sort out that issue,” she explained. “If you have multiple issues, you’re on the waiting list which has a bench mark of six months, in Bathurst there are 7000 people waiting,” she said. Dr Matthews said the time had come to discuss the health system and ask does it actually work. “The mouth is part of the body but there is form of subsidy under Medicare (for dental treatment). “If you’ve got a diseased wisdom tooth and the competing priory is getting good on the table for your family, then that’s going to be the higher priority,” she said. “Dentists get criticised about their costs, but the reality is we are running a health business without government support,” she said. “The Government needs to sit down come up with a plan to treat those vulnerable to dental disease more effectively and efficiently.” Dr Matthews said there is child dental benefit scheme for low income families, who receive $1000 in dental treatment per child, but said more needs to be done. She said the government needs to look at the staged implementation of a universal scheme for basic dental care.

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Doctor accused of unnecessary surgeries, altering medical records defends himself as an ‘advocate for my patients’

NORFOLK —Javaid Perwaiz, the obstetrician-gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary sterilizations, billing for phantom medical procedures and inducing healthy pregnant women to deliver for his convenience, testified this week that he altered consent forms and changed due dates to benefit his patients, not line his pockets.

Perwaiz, who is charged with dozens of counts of health fraud, told jurors in U.S. District Court that he ignored congressionally mandated regulations requiring patients to wait 30 days after signing a sterilization consent form by having them sign an undated form. Instead, he backdated the forms, sometimes performing sterilizations within days of seeing a patient.

“Yes, I knew the 30-day requirement. I just couldn’t say no,” he said from the witness stand Thursday. “I’m an advocate for my patients.”

He said he performed the sterilizations in contradiction to the requirement to benefit his patients. Often, they had discussed sterilization with doctors who referred them. They told him, he testified, that their insurance would run out if he waited or that they could not get a ride or a babysitter on other dates. Asked during cross examination if he could name which of the patients in the indictments told him that their insurance was running out, Perwaiz could not.

Backdating forms is part of three broad categories of charges against Perwaiz. Prosecutors say he altered medical records to justify unnecessary surgery, often scaring women by mentioning the threat of cancer. They allege he changed due dates so he could induce women into labor on the Saturdays he was operating on other patients at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. And they contend he billed insurers for office medical procedures done with broken equipment.

He is also charged with falsifying his application to health-care providers by omitting a felony conviction for tax fraud in 1996, which resulted in a brief suspension of his license, and failing to admit his loss of privileges at Maryview Hospital in 1983. Perwaiz, 70, has been jailed since his November arrest.

[doctor is accused of years of unnecessary hysterectomies. The women who trusted him want answers.]

In a full day of testimony, Perwaiz, led by defense lawyer Emily Munn, defended the care he gave to the two dozen patients named in the 61 counts against him. In case after case, she broadcast his medical charts and the form he filed with Chesapeake Regional Medical Center before surgery. The charts were identified by the initials of the women prosecutors charge he operated on unnecessarily — D.B., D.P., A.G., T.D.C., A.F., A.N. S.N., D.B.D — and by their age and the complaints they wrote down, which several women who testified previously said were false.

In case after case, Perwaiz explained that the complaints by the women — often pelvic pain, bleeding and cramping — justified his procedures. Often, he said, women asked him to be sterilized. In none of the cases of women named in the indictments, Perwaiz said, did he refer them to other doctors after finding evidence of cancer.

During cross examination

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