Anger as doctors pocket £142 for every cremation

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTTISH doctors have pocketed an estimated £1.5 million by charging grieving families to have cremation certificates signed.

The £71 so-called “ash cash” charge allows a deceased person’s body to be released for cremation.

Both GPs and hospital doctors each charge for the form-filling exercise, leaving the deceased person’s relatives to fork out £142.

But most mourning families have no idea they are paying the fee, which doctors could choose to waive if they wanted to, as it is often charged to the funeral director who buries it among the final bill.
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Bouncer blinded in nightclub stiletto stamp attack

By Michael MacLeod

A WOMAN blinded a doorman by stamping her high-heeled stiletto through his eyeball after she was asked to leave a nightclub.

After a drunken argument, Sarah Marsden, 37, had agreed to leave Edinburgh’s upmarket Shanghai bar when she spat in bouncer Graham Roach’s face.

Before he had time to react, he was shoved to the ground and Marsden slammed her heel into his eye.

Mr Roach, 28, underwent a four-hour emergency operation, but doctors were unable to save his eyesight.

He faces further surgery this year to repair damage to his eye socket, in the hope he can at least wear a fake eyeball.
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Postcode lottery for heart surgery in Scotland

By Cara Sulieman

MODERN heart surgery in Scotland is only available to a handful of patients outside of Edinburgh because so few surgeons are able to carry out the new process.

By-pass surgery on beating hearts is safer and allows patients to recover in days, but it is rare for patients outside of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to be given it.

Heart patients in Aberdeen and Clydebank are almost always given older surgery which involves stopping the heart and putting them on a by-pass machine.

Leading experts argue that the newer technique carried a much lower risk of complications such as strokes and memory problems.

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More Scots than ever going under the knife

By Andrea McCallum

VAIN Scots had more cosmetic surgery in 2009 than ever before.

Experts say that many took advantage of cut-price deals in the run-up to Christmas.

But top medical bosses have described the spate of plastic surgery bargains as “madness”

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Flab-fighting surgeon wants to collar obesity

By Michael MacLeod

OBESITY warnings should be stitched onto the labels of large clothes according to a Scots surgeon.

Chubby shoppers could get more than they bargained for when they pick their sizes if Edinburgh Royal Infirmary doctor Chris Oliver has his way.

He fears Scotland’s weight problem is “spiralling out of control” and wants clothing manufacturers to take “serious action.”

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Gleneagles chef set to tuck into Kilimanjaro challenge

By Michael MacLeod

CANCER-conquering chef Andrew Fairlie is planning his next challenge to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

And as Scotland’s top hotel chef, he wants to serve up haggis, neeps and tatties when his trek team reaches the top.

He told a weekend interview that he plans to climb a mountain a month in preparation for the 2011 adventure.

The 45 year-old Gleneagles Hotel restaurant boss recently cooked for world leaders of the G8 summit.

But he says reaching the summit of Africa’s highest mountain is “a walk in the park” compared to conquering cancer, so he’s raising money for the charities that helped save his life.

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Bullied reindeer’s new lease of life

By Andrea McCallum

A RANDY reindeer faces a year without any nookie – after having one of his knackers lopped off in pioneering new operation.

Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo became worried when male Eskimo was bullied by others in his herd who wouldn’t let him join in any reindeer games.

They later discovered he was suffering a rare condition where one of his testicles was found stuck in his abdomen.

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