The Sydney Morning Herald reports that sleep specialists in Australia are concerned patients visiting sleep clinics are being wrongly diagnosed for financial gain.

There are fears that many patients visiting commercial sleep clinics are being wrongly diagnosed  with conditions so they will pay thousands of dollars for medical equipment they don’t need.

Leading sleep specialists at the Royal Melbourne Hospital are concerned about a trend towards  diagnoses of sleep apnoea among patients who have had sleep studies done by private commercial clinics and companies that sell oxygen masks for the illness.

It comes as the federal health department is investigating a blowout in the number of sleep studies billed to Medicare in the past five years, many of which are not being carried out by sleep doctors.