Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre
Forgot Password?

Is Too Much Testing and Treatment Making us Sick?

Sydney Ideas



Law School Foyer New Law School Eastern Avenue The University of Sydney

Panel discussion with audience Q&A on the topic of Wiser Healthcare

Co-presented with the Sydney School of Public Health

We all want to be able to get good healthcare when we need it. But what would it mean to provide and consume healthcare wisely? This panel discussion and Q&A will consider a radical idea: that sometimes wiser healthcare means less healthcare. Or at least, less healthcare for people who don’t need it, so we can give more healthcare to people who do.

We will focus especially on testing. Modern medical tests - imaging, biomarkers and genetic tests - are very sophisticated and highly sensitive. They have delivered important health gains. Done in the right way at the right time, they can be lifesaving, and in the past often have been. But might they have become too good? Could some tests now be leading too much diagnosis and too much treatment? If so, what’s driving this? What might the consequences be for individual citizens, patients, their families and health care systems? And how can we fix it?

Join us for a far ranging and provocative discussion of these issues. Our panellists will explore the hotly debated topic of overdiagnosis and overtreatment and take your questions.

Panel members are all Chief Investigators on a newly funded NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence, a component of a new cross-institution collaboration, Wiser Healthcare.


  • Dr Iona Heath, retired London based GP, past president of the Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Professor Chris Semsarian, cardiologist and Head of the Molecular Cardiology Program, Centenary Institute
  • Professor Jenny Doust, General Practice, Bond University
  • Professor Ian Kerridge, Haematologist and Bone Marrow Transplant, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics, Centre for Values Ethics and the Law in Medicine
  • Professor Kirsten McCaffery, Health communications and psycho-social research, Sydney School of Public Health
  • Associate Professor Stacy Carter, Social research and public health ethics, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine
  • Professor Alexandra Barratt, Professor of Public Health, Sydney School of Public Health

The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence will be launched at this event by Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney.

Free with online registrations required

For more information, go to