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Taxpayers help pay for fat cops' lap-band surgery

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  • Taxpayers help pay for fat cops' lap-band surgery

    Taxpayers help pay for fat cops' lap-band surgery
    EXCLUSIVE By NICOLE COX Police Reporter
    From: The Sunday Times
    February 06, 2010 7:00PM
    TAXPAYERS are helping to pay for overweight cops to have radical gastric-banding stomach surgery as part of a WA Police fat-busting initiative.
    The Sunday Times can reveal that top brass and the Police Union have agreed to pay up to $2000 towards lap-banding operations for obese officers in a bid to counter chronic illnesses.
    Several officers, mostly frontline and traffic police, have already undergone the surgery, the WA Police Union confirmed yesterday.
    The expenditure coincides with drastic State Government ordered belt-tightening, which has seen frontline officers stripped of 115 mobile phones, more than 80 police motorcycles sold off and the police fleet slashed by 50 vehicles after a directive to reduce car costs by 10 per cent.
    Under laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, a band, similar to the size of a wristwatch, is fastened around the upper stomach to create a small pouch which restricts the amount of food that can be consumed. Operations generally cost about $6000.

    Public Health Association of Australia president Mike Daube slammed the move, saying he was shocked that police, who were meant to be among the fittest and most active members of society, would be candidates for obesity surgery."If police officers are so obese that they need gastric banding surgery, they're not going to be very effective coppers," said Prof Daube, a former WA Health Department director-general. "We need our police to be fit, not fat."
    But WA Police executive director Greg Italiano defended the initiative, saying the subsidy was a worthwhile investment in improving the health of police officers who were suffering obesity-related chronic illness and would inevitably save the force money.
    Under the new agreement, the force will reimburse half the cost of the procedure, to a maximum of $2000. If the officer has private health insurance cover, the gap between any refund or reimbursement up to $2000 will be paid.
    To qualify for the subsidy, a comprehensive health or treatment plan must be established by the officer's doctor and provided to the WA Police health and welfare department.
    WA police officers are not subjected to compulsory or regular fitness tests, although most major police stations have gyms.
    "Under the current EBA WA police officers are entitled to up to 168 sick leave days a year (with a medical certificate) and the agency also bears the cost of work and most non-work related medical expenses," Mr Italiano said.
    "If we can assist in improving the health of officers suffering from obesity-related health problems, we believe we will ultimately reduce total sick leave days, decrease overall medical costs and maximise the number of operationally deployable police officers."WA Police Union president Russell Armstrong yesterday applauded the initiative.
    "We are extremely happy," he said. "There have been people who have had the surgery and they have lost a huge amount of weight.
    "Some people have said to me: 'They should go out and go to a gym or whatever', but these people just can't diet, they just can't lose weight. Some people will criticise, but there's not that many (officers) who are obesely overweight."It's a certain few and they're the ones who have obviously tried to diet over the years and just can't do it and as a last resort they go to their specialist and they have the lap-banding done."
    Treasurer Troy Buswell declined to comment, but Police Minister Rob Johnson said: "Anything that can improve the health of our police officers and return them to the frontline is a step in the right direction".
    "I think there will be a cost benefit as it will reduce the number of officers on sick leave and return them to the frontline, where they will be more productive.''
    Feed 'em to the pigs, Errol....

  • #2
    Police minister R. Johnson is fat, overweight and unfit (for any job) so how about a lacky band for him preverably around his fat neck?
    No operation needed!

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    • #3
      wepost
      IM ALWAYS ON THE EDGE, ITS ONLY THE SHARPNESS THAT VARYS

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      • #4
        .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jase View Post
          I love how it gets sensationalised. Taxpayers arnt paying for it, the police are through the police union
          BUT THE TAX FROM MY WAGES GOES DIRECTLY TO THE SURGEON WHO DOES THE LAP BANDS!!!!one1
          Originally posted by Amac
          suck me on the hat you mole fucker, steroid affected me cock

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