The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says people should not be forced to take out a loan in order to receive essential medical treatment.
Financial groups such as Macquarie Bank and GE Money are allowing doctors and dentists to offer patients loans of up to $40,000 to undergo expensive medical procedures.
Health Minister John Hatzistergos says it is a worrying practice.
"Well, I'm very concerned by the claims which are being made that patients are in fact being enticed into lengthy loans by finance companies for procedures that in particular they may not necessarily need," he said.
"This raises serious conflict of interest issues between the health services provider and the patient."
I think I know which "procedure" will be at the top of that list - gastric bypass. You cannot get it done here in QLD under the public health scheme without having to go through a LOT of other options first. They will do banding but not bypass because it is seen as irreversible.
We had a case at one hospital I worked in where the patient was told by the surgeon that he would do the operation at a private hospital and then transfer her to a public ICU after the op. Guess what? There were no public ICU beds available and she had to sit in the private ICU for a week - her parents had to mortgage their house to pay for the ICU treatment. When we got her to our unit she was still leaking gastric acid from about four areas.
That was not even in the same room as ethical