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Should weight loss surgery be taxpayer funded?

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A weightloss surgeon is urging for the procedure to be funded under the public system, saying taxpayers will be saved a substantial amount of money in the long term.

In a bid to tackle a worsening obesity epidemic, bariatric surgery has become more widely adopted.

Along with psychological and nutritional support, the surgery can help transform the lives of obese people.

But the surgery is only partially funded under the private health care system and isn’t accessible to those who need help the most.

Upper-gastrointestinal surgeon Doctor Michael Devadas tells Chris Smith if Medicare helped cover the cost of surgery, taxpayers would save money in the long run.

“What I can see, in my own practice, is… the discrepancy that we’re not able to give these services to people in the public and they’re often the people who need it the most.

“The people we operate on in the public sector they’re heavier… their operations are riskier.”

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He says there needs to be an “allied approach” to weightloss but surgery can be crucial.

“There has to be some sort of equitable justice for this sort of healthcare provision.”