No party culture at Suns, says Hallahan

Gold Coast midfielder Mitch Hallahan says the media portrayal of the Suns as a party-mad AFL club gone off the rails isn’t the one he sees.

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Rooted to the bottom of the ladder, the Suns have taken an off-field hit amid reports several players were regularly using drugs such as cocaine during end-of-season functions.

A News Limited report says former Sun Karmichael Hunt has named at least five players in a statement given to police following his conviction for cocaine possession in March.

Since the report was published on Sunday, the Suns have launched their own investigation into the claims and another media report suggested the playing group was divided into two camps.

Hallahan, who joined the Suns at the end of last year from Hawthorn, says while there were some issues he noticed upon arriving at the club, it wasn’t as bad as has been portrayed.

“I wouldn’t say it’s got a party culture or anything like that,” Hallahan said.

“When I walked into the club there were certain standards around football preparation that weren’t ideal.

“In my time here, in the last six months, the group has grown enormously.

“There’s definitely no rift within the playing group.”

Hallahan said Suns chief executive Andrew Travis had addressed the players on Monday, outlining the scope and nature of the investigation.

Travis has already indicated his surprise at the claims after giving players the opportunity to reveal any involvement when Hunt was first served notice to appear in court in February.

Hallahan says players are again being encouraged to come forward if they have concerns.

“He addressed the group yesterday afternoon and just outlined where we’re at and the situation,” Hallahan said.

“He was quite honest in the description. Just outlined the severity of what’s going on. Just to be honest and up front about the whole thing.

“He sort of outlined that it was better to come one-on-one to see him. In a public forum it can be uncomfortable for some guys to speak up.”

Hallahan said despite the off-field concerns, the players were focused on reversing the club’s form on the field starting with Saturday’s home game against North Melbourne.

That match will be the club’s annual family day and Hallahan said the revelations hadn’t made him ashamed to be representing the Suns.

“I wouldn’t say it’s embarrassing. It’s disappointing that this has surfaced,” he said.

“We’ll stick together. We’ll support the boys if they need and when they need that.

“We’ve still got eight or nine games to go and as a playing group we’re focused on playing and we’ll let the administration handle the off-field matters.”

Jamaican agency begins tests on athletes

Jamaica’s anti-doping agency has announced it has started collecting blood samples to test athletes on the Caribbean island that produces the world’s dominant sprinters.

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Carey Brown, the executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, said blood testing began this month with the guidance of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

“The implementation of blood testing is a step in the right direction for anti-doping in Jamaica as this will further ensure the protection of our clean athletes,” Brown said in a statement from the commission on Monday.

Jamaica has rebuilt its drug-testing program following revelations of a complete lack of out-of-competition testing leading up to the 2012 London Olympics and an audit by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The leadership of Jamaica’s anti-doping agency has been recast, while the budget for drug testing was boosted amid an austerity plan in the economically struggling country.

JADCO now employs 18 doping control officers and 49 chaperones. Last year, it also launched a biological passport program to monitor blood profiles over time for signs of doping.

Jamaica has been working to repair its image since the former head of its drug-testing agency, Renee Anne Shirley, disclosed in 2013 that there had been a virtual absence of out-of-competition testing for six months before the London Games.

Jamaican athletes were tested internationally by the IAFF, but not at home by their own anti-doping officials.

Eight Jamaican athletes tested positive later that same year, including former 100-metre record holder Asafa Powell and three-time Olympic medallist Sherone Simpson.

Powell and Simpson had 18-month bans imposed by Jamaican authorities cut to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Three-time Olympic medalist sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown had tested positive for a banned diuretic at a Jamaica meet, but was totally cleared by CAS because of flaws in the test collection procedures.

The adoption of blood testing in Jamaica is important because the island’s track and field athletes have won 28 medals over the past three Summer Olympics.

The sport’s biggest name, Usain Bolt, has won six Olympic gold medals and nine world championships golds and will be going for more at this year’s World Championships in China and next year’s Summer Games in Brazil.

For the women, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has won gold in the 100 metres during the last two Olympics.

Froome buckled up for rocky Tour de France challenge

Froome, who claimed the 2013 Tour having won almost every race he entered in the build-up to the three-week extravaganza, took a rockier road this year before taking overall victory in the Criterium du Dauphine, the prestigious warm-up for the Tour.

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A couple of trademark late attacks in the final climbs helped him beat American Tejay van Garderen while defending Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali was still struggling for fitness.

Before he got there, Froome was forced to skip the Tirreno-Adriatico week-long race in March because of illness and looked lost in the Tour of Catalunya later that month before crashing in the Fleche Wallonne classic in April.

“I definitely feel as if I had a slower build up to the Tour this year, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. I’m exactly where I need to be,” said Froome, who achieved the Dauphine/Tour double in 2013.

He picked himself up in the Tour de Romandie, finishing third overall, and looked closer to his awe-inspiring best on the Dauphine.

“There are still one or two little things to touch on but things are looking good,” he said.

To help Froome win the Dauphine, Team Sky rode hard to contain attacks and provide their leader with the perfect launching pad for his late accelerations.

It may be not possible on the Tour, though, where a unique set of aggressive riders will assemble at the start in Utrecht.

He will face old rival Alberto Contador, who will use every opportunity to wear down the Sky machine, but also Colombian Nairo Quintana, France’s Thibaut Pinot and Nibali — all offensive riders who have never been at their best all together at the start of the Tour, which should be the case this year.

Froome, who abandoned the race when he crashed in the fifth stage last year, was exposed on the Dauphine once when Nibali’s attacking flair meant he and Van Garderen missed the winning move in a rain-hit mountain stage.

When Sky are taken out of their comfort zone — which does not happen very often — they look more vulnerable and their rivals’ attitude should be key to Froome’s chances.

One thing he cannnot rely on, however, is a private motorhome, which team mate Richie Porte benefited from on the Giro d’Italia, to avoid dodgy hotels as the International Cycling Union (UCI) has banned its use “to reaffirm absolute fairness between all riders.”

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

England bowled out for 303 in Durban

Morne Morkel took four wickets as England put up a defiant last-wicket stand before being bowled out for 303 at lunch on the second day of the first Test against South Africa in Durban on Sunday.

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The tall paceman claimed the wickets of Ben Stokes, Nick Compton, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes, out first ball, in a hostile spell of bowling as the sun came out after a rain-affected first day in which England ended at 4-179.

Kyle Abbott and Dale Steyn claimed the other wickets on Sunday while Stuart Broad (32 not out) partnered Steven Finn (12) to add 36 runs for the last wicket.

England added 124 runs to their overnight tally for the loss of six wickets on a slow track at Kingsmead.

Stokes went first, trying to pull to midwicket but skying the ball to JP Duminy at gully for 21 after coming out in positive fashion to counter the slow-scoring rate of Compton, who was 69 overnight.

The Durban-born Compton, picked at No.3 for England in his first Test in two years, played a circumspect and one-paced innings but was out for 85 off 236 balls to an uncharacteristically rash shot after he and Jonny Bairstow had scored a brisk 29 runs in six overs after the new ball was taken.

Morkel forced Compton into trying to pull a bouncer and he got an under edge through to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers.

Ali followed in Morkel’s next over as he was caught behind and Woakes was out next ball with an lbw decision upheld after review. Broad almost got a nick for Morkel’s hat trick ball after flashing at a fast delivery.

Bairstow, who had been aggressive on a spongy track, got a thick edge off Abbott and was well caught at slip by Dean Elgar for 41.

Play started 30 minutes early to make up for lost time on the first day and was extended by a further half hour with England nine down at the scheduled lunch break.

England eventually folded when Steyn trapped Finn leg before to return figures of 4-70.

Henriques hurt in Sixers’ loss to Stars

Half centuries from Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb have guided Melbourne Stars to a comfortable five-wicket BBL win over Sydney Sixers after the home side’s innings was curtailed by a calf injury to captain Moises Henriques.

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The Stars made light work of their target of 140 at the SCG on Sunday, reaching the total with eight balls to spare to record their first win of the season in their third game.

Handscomb hit 52 off 40 balls before he was dismissed with just four runs required, while Maxwell struck 50 off 36 balls in a typically eye-catching innings before a crowd of 29,104.

Captain David Hussey contributed 24 off 15 to get the visitors home.

Tom Triffitt clubbed the winning boundary through mid-wicket off Doug Bollinger to move the home side to 5-143 and hand the Sixers their second loss of the season from four games.

However the Sixers could have posted plenty more Henriques not gone down with a calf injury while batting.

Henriques (41 off 34 balls) and Maddinson (25 from 21 balls) rescued the home side from a slow start after the Sixers were 2-18 in the fourth over with both openers Brad Haddin and Michael Lumb back in the pavilion.

The pair moved the scored to 78 with some lusty hitting before Maddinson was bowled by Adam Zampa in the 11th over.

Injury then struck Henriques in the 13th over as he attempted to take off for a single and his leg gave way. He made his way back into the crease but was forced to retire hurt and left the SCG in a medicab.

It is the same calf that Henriques injured in the Sheffield Shield in November, which sidelined him for a month.

Some late hitting from Jordan Silk who struck 35 off 28 balls moved the Sixers to a competitive 6-139 off their allotted 20 overs.

Maxwell said the Stars were relieved to break through for their first win of the season, especially considering they were without Kevin Pietersen who has flown back to England for the birth of his second child.

“Without probably our best player in KP in this game somebody had to stand up and me and Peter filled that void,” Maxwell said.

“I’m really, really happy we got it done as comfortably as we did in the end.”

Maddinson stood in for Henriques as Sixers’ skipper and said it was his side’s below-par batting that cost them the game.

“For me to get out and then for Moises to do his calf let them back in the game I guess,” he said.

“I thought we were probably 20 runs short and it was those few overs after my dismissal and after Moises that cost us the game.

“I’m not disappointed with how we bowled we were probably 20 runs short.”

Inspired Broad gives England the edge

Opener Dean Elgar provided stubborn resistance after Broad claimed three wickets as the hosts finished on 137 for four in reply to England’s 303.

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Elgar was unbeaten on 67 at the close after Broad removed three of his partners, including a superb delivery to dismiss the dangerous AB de Villiers caught behind.

Temba Bavuma was 10 not out with South Africa 166 runs adrift going into the third day.

Broad also snagged the wicket of Stiaan van Zyl with the second ball of the innings and had out-of-form South Africa captain Hashim Amla caught behind for seven.

Spinner Moeen Ali bowled Faf du Plessis for two, the batsman dancing down the track but missing the ball which clipped the top of the bails.

The second day in Durban tests are traditionally the preserve of the batsmen but 10 wickets fell on a sunny and breezy day after Saturday’s play was dogged by rain delays.

England could not have asked for a better start when Van Zyl, back in the side, shouldered arms to a straight ball from Broad and was bowled while Amla was squared up by Broad and caught behind by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

De Villiers survived a controversial call for a gully catch, that was eventually ruled to have fallen short when he was on 11 but was cleverly set up by Broad who tempted him into a faint touch to a wider ball when he was on 49.

“AB was taking the game away from us slightly so we tried to put pressure on him to make score shots and the ball swung late and got more grip than I thought it would,” Broad told reporters.

Morne Morkel took four wickets before lunch as England added 124 runs to their overnight tally for the loss of six wickets. Nick Compton, 63 overnight, was one of Morkel’s victims as he went out for 85, the top score of the innings.

Morkel also dismissed Stokes, Moeen and Chris Woakes, out first ball, in a hostile spell that brought him figures of 4-76. “The first hour tomorrow will be crucial,” Morkel said. “It’s tough to score with the wicket and outfield both being slow.”

(Editing by Ed Osmond; [email protected]杭州桑拿会所,; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters杭州桑拿会所,@reuters杭州桑拿按摩,)

Goulding leads Melbourne past Perth

Melbourne United coach Dean Demopoulos reflected on his childhood after his team’s 92-87 win over the ladder-leading Perth Wildcats with the roof open at Hisense Arena on Sunday night.

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“Some of the funnest times in my life were when I was a kid playing outside on playgrounds,” Demopoulos said.

“When I walked into the arena from the tunnel and I could feel the breeze I was a little shocked, because I didn’t think you’d be able to feel it.

“It was pretty cool, but I have to tell you, my first concern was whether the ball was going to go in or not.”

Demopoulos needn’t have worried, his star shooting guard Chris Goulding took care of that, sinking a blistering six-of-eight three-pointers on his way to 27 points and a match-winning performance.

Goulding scored 11 points in the first quarter, continued his long-range barrage in the second, and after being benched with foul trouble in the third term, delivered 10 final-quarter points that acted as the knockout blow.

“I’ve got to work on being aggressive and trying to get everyone involved. I think more so than previous years on this team I’ve need to shoulder a bit of that load,” Goulding said after wowing the capacity crowd which enjoyed the open air for the first time.

“It turned out to be a really good night, so credit to the NBL, credit to our front office staff, we must have a weatherman in the ranks who picked a great night.”

While Perth couldn’t match Goulding’s shooting, they circumvented any issues with the breeze by pumping the ball inside to dominant big men Matt Knight (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Nate Jawai (15 points).

They combined with reserve Tom Jervis to score 21 points in the first half, then Jawai and Knight notched 11 more early in the final term to put the Wildcats in a winning position.

But it was the Wildcats’ defence that had issues for much of the night.

“I thought we played Santa Claus in the first half and gave them plenty of points,” coach Trevor Gleeson said.

“We don’t play defence and they get their eye in, and they’re very hard to stop once they get their tails up.”

Melbourne were also handing out the gifts, coughing up eight second-half turnovers to the Wildcats’ pressure defence as import Casey Prather (24 points) dominated with his speed and athleticism.

Having led by 11, the home team looked in trouble trailing 71-74 with seven minutes left, but consecutive clutch jumpshots from Goulding swung the momentum, before triples from Todd Blanchfield and Goulding put United ahead for good.

Perth charged back, pulling within two points with one minute 23 seconds remaining, and a solitary point on a Prather dunk with 15 seconds to play, but Goulding and Stephen Holt (16 points, 7 assists) held their nerve from the free-throw line.

A potential game-tying triple from Wildcat Jermaine Beal sailed long.

Perth forward Greg Hire could nevertheless appreciate the importance of the sold-out open air game for the league.

“Obviously the result wasn’t the one we wanted, but it was a fantastic environment, the atmosphere was pumping,” he said.

More flee floods in Paraguay

With further rain looming, more families have abandoned their homes in Paraguay, the country hardest hit by the worst flooding in decades in the area bordering Uruguay and Argentina.

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The floods have already forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate.

The weather phenomenon El Nino has exacerbated summer rains, swelling rivers in the region. The River Paraguay, which flows by the country’s capital, Asuncion, has already reached 7.82 metres, its highest level since 1992.

Around 90,000 people have already left their homes in Asuncion. In Alberdi, about 120km further south, authorities have called for 7000 more people to evacuate because of cracks detected in the town’s levee.

“We are very uncertain about what could happen with the (flood) wall and we do not want to run any type of risk, so the population has been alerted,” said Paraguay’s minister of national emergencies, Joaqun Roa. He said, however, that many people did not want to leave their homes for fear of looting.

This year’s El Nino, which causes global climate extremes, is the worst in more than 15 years, the United Nations weather agency said last month. While it has worsened floods in some parts of South America, in others such as Colombia it has brought drought.

The Paraguayan government has declared a state of emergency in Asuncion and seven regions of the country to free up funds to help those affected. There is no official death toll yet.

Local media reported two people were electrocuted in their flooded homes and several were killed by trees falling in the storms that caused the flooding.

In northern Argentina, across Paraguay’s southern border, some 20,000 people have had to evacuate in what local authorities have called the worst flooding in 50 years.

“Fortunately, the rains have lessened, and the rivers have stopped rising,” said newly elected President Mauricio Macri, who suspended his Christmas vacation to visit the worst affected areas in Entre Ros province.

Macri, who studied to be a civil engineer, blamed the floods partly on climate change, and promised federal aid to help build housing further away from river shores and to raise flood defence walls in the area.

Next year, his government plans to focus on finding long-term solutions to the flooding problem, building new infrastructure that was long overdue, he said.

In Uruguay, the number of evacuees was 11,300, Fernando Traversa, the head of the national Emergencies Office said on Sunday. He said the situation was improving.

“Various rivers are already stabilising,” he said.

In southern Brazil, flooding has forced 1800 families to leave their homes.

British knighthood for Wizard of Oz

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Australian election strategist Lynton Crosby is in line to receive a knighthood, sparking a fresh row over cronyism in the British honours system.

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A Whitehall source has revealed the 58-year-old will receive the gong in the New Year Honours List on Thursday, The Sunday Times reports.

The election guru, who has been dubbed the “Wizard of Oz”, started working for Mr Cameron in 2013 and is credited with masterminding the Conservative party’s first outright win for more than 30 years in May.

Previously he had helped Boris Johnson become mayor of London.

Mr Crosby’s supporters say he brought focus and professionalism that had been lacking in the Conservative party machine.

But he became embroiled in a row over his links to the tobacco industry.

He was forced to deny playing any part in the government’s decision to shelve plans for cigarette plain packaging when it emerged his lobbying consultancy CTF had been working for tobacco manufacturer Philip Morris.

Britain’s Labour Party also highlighted his tax arrangements after he was linked to a network of offshore companies.

Mr Cameron has been accused of using the honours system to reward friends, political allies and donors.

Labour MP John Mann condemned the award for Mr Crosby, saying it degraded the honours system and was “an insult to the country’s heroes”.

Alexandra Runswick, the director of Unlock Democracy, which campaigns for political reform, also condemned the award, saying the honours system was supposed to be about rewarding dedicated public service.

“David Cameron using it to reward a lobbyist and political consultant who helped get him elected demeans the honours system and undermines trust in politics, ” she told The Sunday Times.

Mr Crosby is eligible to receive an honour under the British system as Australia is one of 15 “Commonwealth realms” that have the Queen as their monarch.

Boof to have break but he wants more

Darren Lehmann will take a temporary break from coaching Australia next year but he has no plans to leave the post.

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Australia will travel to the Caribbean in June for a one-day international tri-series against West Indies and South Africa.

Lehmann will sit the trip out, with Western Australia coach Justin Langer to mentor the squad in his absence.

Langer is viewed as Lehmann’s likely successor.

But the man who replaced Mickey Arthur on the eve of the 2013 Ashes still has plenty he wants to achieve.

“I’d love us to win in the sub-continent for a start. Play better cricket there,” Lehmann said.

“The T20 (World Cup), that’s another one, and obviously defend the (ODI) World Cup.

“There’s a couple of goals there but end of the day you’re guided by results along the way and how you go.”

England are hosting both the ODI World Cup and Ashes in 2019, with Lehmann desperate for his side to win both.

“That is still a burning desire,” Lehmann said of Australia’s next Test tour of England.

“We let ourselves down this year. 2013 was a different scenario, we were changing the whole setup.

“I’d love to have another crack at that. But you’re guided by results along the way, you can’t look that far ahead.”

Lehmann conceded the job wasn’t something he could do “long term”.

“Not international coaching. You’re away 300 days a year,” he said.

“The one-day series (in England this year), I was pretty much cooked.

“You can’t go that long in a run. That tour was four-and-a-half months in the end. You’ve got to make sure you freshen up as best you can.

“We’re always trying to give our coaches and our support staff a bit of a break. This is the first sort of break I’ve had since I’ve taken over.”

Lehmann will spend time with his family but also start planning for next summer, when South Africa and Pakistan are both touring.

He hopes the break will prolong his career.

“I haven’t got an end date in mind. I’ll go for a while yet,” he said.

“You try to tick off all the boxes you want to as a coach, and hopefully you’ve achieved them, then it’s probably someone else’s turn.”

Henriques’ season in doubt due to injury

Moises Henriques’ Big Bash League campaign looks over, and his shot at a spot in the Australian side for the summer’s international short-form fixtures is in jeopardy, due to a calf injury suffered in Sydney Sixer’s five-wicket loss to Melbourne Stars.

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Henriques injured the calf as he attempted a run in his top score of 41 in the Sixers’ total of 6-139.

The Sixers captain was forced to retire hurt and was taken from the SCG on Sunday night in a medicab.

He’s injured the same left calf he hurt in the Sheffield Shield in November. That injury sidelined him for a month.

Henriques, who has played three Tests, six ODIs and four Twenty20 fixtures for Australia, also struggled with calf trouble last summer.

The 28-year-old will go for scans on the injury on Monday.

Nic Maddinson filled in as Sixers skipper in the loss to the Stars.

He said Henriques had given no indication as to how serious he felt the injury might be.

“He is a little bit disappointed, he was icing it up when I went in so I can’t be sure how it is,” Maddinson said after the match.

“We are feeling for him. He has just come back from a calf injury and suffered another one last year.

“It is a little bit disappointing but until we know the severity of it, it is hard to say how he is feeling.”

The Stars’ win, with half-centuries from Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb, was the side’s first of the season from three games. Sydney’s loss leaves the Sixers at 2-2.

Maxwell said it was difficult to watch his friend Henriques go down with the injury.

“Moises was hitting the ball beautifully and I really feel for him, we have been mates for a while,” Maxwell said.

“He is really putting his name down for one-day contention and for him to go down, my heart breaks for him because he seems to have these setbacks nonstop.

“All I can hope is that he has a speedy recovery but it was pretty hard to watch.”

Medicare review: The 23 items set to be axed and what they mean

**Please note this is a December 2015 story, for more recent coverage see:

 

Australian Medical Association president Brian Owler says the removal of items from the Medicare Benefits Schedule could lead to higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.

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Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announced on Monday 23 tests and procedures, including ear, nose and throat surgeries and diagnostic imaging, have been recommended for removal as part of a major shake up of Medicare.

Ms Ley said in a statement the 23 items, which also include gastroenterology, obstetrics and thoratic medicine services, cost $6.8 million in the past year and were used 52,500 times.

“This first stage of work has provided recommendations about the immediate removal of lower-volume MBS items in some specific specialities where there is clinical consensus that they are ‘obsolete’ and no longer represent clinical best-practice,” she said.

Related reading

“These are also items that clinical experts deem will not have adverse impacts on a patient’s access to health services if removed.

“Reasons range from more-clinically appropriate and/or efficient technologies and procedures already listed on the MBS through to patient safety, unnecessary doubling-up of item claims and decreasing usage.”

However Professor Owler criticised Ms Ley for saying the items were obsolete before the consultation process had even begun.

“It is really not up to the minister to make those sorts of comments,” he told SBS News.

“If she’s already made up her mind there’s no point in having this consultation.”

Professor Owler said the removal of some of the items, like older diagnostic imaging services, “would not be too controversial”, but “just because something is not used often it doesn’t mean it is obsolete”.

He said some patients would be left out-of-pocket as some of the items recommended for removal were part of other procedures or were used for very specific circumstances.

Related reading

“That is the AMA has been concerned about with this process all along,” Professor Owler said.

“It is a cost-cutting exercise, they’re looking to make savings. We are concerned patients will be left out-of-pocket.”

He said there were also questions among medical professionals about how long it would take for new items to be included in the Medicare schedule.

Ms Ley said the task force reviewing all the 5700 items on the MBS would seek further advice before scrapping the first 23 items.

“It is important to understand that this is not by any means a comprehensive or complete list of final findings about the final makeup of the MBS,” she said.

“It is also important to remember further advice from the Taskforce will not just focus on the removal of items from the MBS altogether, but also maintaining clinically-relevant MBS items, the addition of new MBS items where appropriate, and more intricate changes around the rules governing the eligibility and use of an MBS item for a particular patient cohort.”

What’s on the chopping block?

Imaging:

– Intravenous Pyelography: an X-ray test of the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract.

– Graham’s Test (cholecystography): an X-ray examination of the gallbladder and bile duct.

– Pelvimetry: an assessment of the female pelvis in relation to a woman’s ability to deliver a baby.

– Bronchography: an X-ray examination of the respiratory system inside the lung after they have coated in a contrast dye.

– Vasoepididymography: using a contrast dye to examine the vas deferens and epididymis in male genitalia.

– Peritoneogram (herniography): an imaging technique used to detect certain types of hernias.

– Venography: an X-ray of the veins using a dye injected using a catheter into the veins or bone marrow.

Ear, nose and throat surgeries:

– Klockoff’s tests: four separate tests to measure hearing.

– Glossopharyngeal nerve (serves tongue and throat) injection with anaesthetic.

– Cryotherapy to nose: use of extreme cold to treat to nasal haemorrhage.

– Cryotherapy to turbinates: use of extreme cold to treat turbinates, which warm the air we breath.

– Division of pharyngeal adhesions: An operation to the pharynx.

– Direct examination: of postnasal space (behind nose) with or without removing tissue.

– Direct examination of Larynx, with removal of tissue.

– Direct examination of the Larynx’s sub regions.

Gastroenterology:

– Gastric hypothermia: without gastrointestinal haemorrhage using a refrigerant.

– Gastric hypothermia: with upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage using a refrigerant.

– Biliary manometry: measurement of pressure relating to bile ducts.

– Sigmoidoscopic examination: rectal examination of lower intestine and application of heat or removal of polyps, less than 45 minutes.

– Sigmoidoscopic examination: rectal examination of lower intestine and application of heat or removal of polyps, more than 45 minutes.

Obstetrics:

– Treatment of habitual miscarriage: with injections of hormones, not administered via routine checks during pregnancy.

Thoracic medicine:

– Bronchospirometry: the study of gas exchanged from each lung separately by placing a catheter in one lung’s major air passage.

Study to find best time for heart surgery

A new British study aims to help doctors better pinpoint when to operate on heart disease patients.

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The research will cost STG1.3 million ($A2.66 million) and look at tracking more effectively when a heart is starting to fail, helping medics decide the best time to perform surgery while minimising the risk to patients’ health.

Operating too early can put heart patients at unnecessary risk but intervening too late can mean heart muscle becomes irreversibly damaged.

The Edinburgh study, which will recruit between 200 and 300 patients in Scotland, will focus on patients with the most common form of valve disease, known as aortic stenosis.

The condition is caused by the narrowing of a major valve, which puts heart muscle under pressure and reduces its capacity to pump properly. It can lead to heart failure and sudden death.

Gauging the severity of heart valve disease can pose difficulties, particularly in older patients who may suffer from a number of other health conditions.

The trial will see patients undergo detailed heart scans and blood tests to track the capacity of their heart to pump blood, providing a baseline against which their future heart function can be compared.

Half of the patients will receive early surgery, and the other half will be given treatment later.

By analysing patients’ heart function before and after surgery, doctors will determine what impact replacement valves have had. They will also be able to tell at which point the surgery has had the greatest effect.

The project is funded by the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust through its annual Award for Biomedical Research.

Dr Marc Dweck, British Heart Foundation research fellow at Edinburgh University, said: “This type of heart disease is very common and, with an ageing population, we are set for an epidemic. Rates are set to treble by 2050, so it is crucial to develop new interventions now.”