Tax Payers to Pay for Overseas Medical Procedure

Addict Claire Murray offered second chance for liver transplant:

It would be her second transplant after years of drug abuse, including heroin and amphetamines

Dr Hames said the State Government was prepared to pay for her and her father to travel to New Zealand so she could be considered for a "live" liver transplant.

I've got two questions:

One, why can't a "live" liver transplant be done in Australia?

Two, why does the Government need to pay for her to fly to NZ? I get that we as a nation feel the need to provide public hospitals, but I really don't see how we could think the Government is responsible for expenses related to procedures that are not even going to be conducted in Australia. It's not like it would be impossible for her to acquire the needed money from a charity or family members even.

I suspect this happens all the time, and we're only hearing about it in this case because she is a drug addict on her second liver already, but even in non-drug related cases (probably rare; liver failure is normally caused by drug abuse) I don't understand why this is being done by the government. If one of my friends or family where having this sort of problem and couldn't scrounge up the money I would happily loan them the couple of grand this would be at the most, and for people that don't have that option (who would be exceedingly rare) there are personal loans and plenty of charities that would be willing to help them.

--- Edited on 01/03/2010 to improve wording ---

Date: 2010-02-27 23:03:54, 14 years and 141 days ago

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