Clinic Locations

Woolcock Sleep Clinic
Phone: (02) 9114 0000
Address: 431 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW, 2037 Email: reception@woolcock.org.au
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Phone: (02) 9515 6655
Address: Level 11, Main Block, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW, 2050
Integrated Sleep Health
Phone: (02) 9238 2209
Address: MLC Building, Level 57, 19-29 Martin Place, NSW, Sydney, 2000 Email: info@isleephealth.com.au

Professor Ron Grunstein

Professor of Sleep Medicine

MBBS, MD, PhD, FRACP

Sleep medicine as a commodity

Posted: November 8, 2014

What sort of message are doctors sending when they advertise their wares by having horse race named after them ? In a week when all eyes that were on the Melbourne Cup (Australia stops for 3 minutes and all that) , eyes got averted pretty quickly when 2 horses were killed in race-related events. My eyes moved away fast too when I saw the name of this horse race in Toowoomba. Is this really the message we should be sending to our patients ? I am not sure our cardiologists or endocrinologists would be happy with a Sydney Heart Centre Cup or Metabolism and Obesity Clinic Stakes. The home care market created by CPAP sales is unfortunately distorting our sense of professionalism, vision and the reputation of our field. Its a horse race to the bottom.

The 5th at Toowoomba races - does this marketing give confidence to patients with sleep disorders ?

The 5th at Toowoomba races – does this marketing give confidence to patients with sleep disorders ?

To add to our field’s woes, here is some outfit selling a 3 hour course to make you an expert on CPAP and sleep apnea. The proliferation of undertrained and mercenary-focused agencies now in sleep home care marketplace makes you wonder about the quality of our consumer protection. Will 3 hours really make you an expert ? Is that how we get patients with insomnia and minimal sleep apnea being sold auto-titrating CPAP ? Demedicalisation of care, patients lost in the “system” and being deprived of an opinion of their care and ALL their alternatives is wasting health care resources and  is unethical.  My worst experience was seeing a  delightful patient who had lost 2 children – one to SIDS and one to anencephaly being told by a well known physician and CPAP seller that her mild sleep apnea  (apnea hypopnea index of 8/hr, otherwise fit & well) would result in the same risk of death as her poor child with SIDS. One of my greatest regrets in professional life was not encouraging to take this to the Health Care Complaints Unit.

Here is a course by the somewhat curiously named Premium Health that manages to give you comprehensive training on CPAP and sleep apnea in 3 hours !

Here is a course by the somewhat curiously named Premium Health that manages to give you comprehensive training on CPAP and sleep apnea in 3 hours !