News in brief: Shoulder arthroplasty increases in Australia; Rheumatologist pens book on ‘betrayal’ of medicine; Doctor registration fees hiked

Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021

Shoulder arthroplasty increases in Australia

The lifetime risk of primary total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) has more than trebled in men and more than doubled in women in the decade between 2008 and 2017 in Australia.

In contrast, the lifetime risk of primary PSA more than halved for men and reduced by 80% for women.

A retrospective analysis of data from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint
Replacement Registry (AOANJRR) identified 32,889 primary TSAs and 5,979 primary partial shoulder arthroplasties.

The most common operative diagnosis for primary TSA was glenohumeral OA while the majority of primary PSAs were performed for fractures.

“The steep increase in lifetime risk of TSA over time probably relates to addressing previously unmet demand for surgery given the increasing availability of orthopaedic shoulder surgeons who are trained to perform the procedure and advances in prosthesis design, materials, and outcome monitoring,” the study said.

“Improvements in perioperative management may mean that these complex surgical procedures can now be more safely performed for older patients.”

Read more in Arthritis Care & Research

Rheumatologist pens book on ‘betrayal’ of medicine

Overdiagnosis and overtreatment are rife within the health system, according to a new book from rheumatologist Professor Rachelle Buchbinder and orthopaedic surgeon Professor Ian Harris.

Hippocrasy reveals the tests, drugs and treatments that provide little or no benefit for patients and the inherent problem of a medical system based on treating rather than preventing illness.

According to the publisher UNSW Press, Hippocrasy asks whether doctors are betraying their Hippocratic Oath by providing treatments which may do more harm than good.

Professor Harris has previously authored a similarly themed book Surgery, The Ultimate Placebo (NewSouth Publishing, 2016).

Hippocrasy will be released next month (October).

Doctor registration fees hiked

Registration fees for doctors are to increase by 3% this year, while many other regulated healthcare professions have seen their fees frozen or reduced.

The Medical Board of Australia has set registration fees for 2021–2022 at $835, which is says represents an increase limited to indexation at 3%.
However, national boards for other health professions have frozen annual registration fees, with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has frozen its registration fees for 2021–2022 at $180.

Registration fees have also been frozen by boards regulating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island health practitioners, Chinese Medicine practitioners, chiropractors, medical radiation practitioners and podiatrists. Some boards such as those regulating psychologists and paramedics have reduced registration fees by up to 10%.

Boards regulating pharmacy and physiotherapy, occupational therapists and optometrists have increased fees by 3%
AHPRA Chief Executive Officer Martin Fletcher said the regulator recognised the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns may have had on some practitioners’ practice.

“We have put in place a registration and renewal fee payment plan for any practitioners who are experiencing financial hardship,’ he said.

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