23 September 2018
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
GOLD Coast patients will now be able to access lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions with the Morrison Government announcing a new MRI licence for Pindara Private Hospital.
This MRI licence is expected to benefit 4,000 local patients a year through a Medicare rebate and provide an estimated 5,500 services a year.
Local MP Steven Ciobo said this is great news for local patients who will now have more access to better treatment.
“Having an MRI machine at Pindara Hospital means our community will now have quicker and more affordable access to potentially lifesaving scans which are critical in detection of cancer and other diseases,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Gold Coasters deserve to have the best hospital facilities, which is why the Morrison Government continues to invest in the Coast’s medical services.”
Pindara Private Hospital is among ten locations to receive Medicare subsidised MRIs from 1 November 2018, subject to the sites meeting the required approvals and administrative requirements.
An MRI is a commonly used medical scan which gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels.
It is used by doctors to diagnose and monitor number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Liberal National Government is helping Australians stay healthy and keeping down the cost of healthcare for families.
“Our plan for a strong economy means we continue to deliver record funding for essential services such as Medicare, public hospitals and life-saving medicines.” Minister Hunt said.
“The Morrison Government is committed to providing high quality health services when and where they are needed.
“Not only will our new Medicare support ensure patients get better treatment and save money, it will also cut down the amount of time patients travel to get a scan.”
A competitive public application process will also determine the location for a further 20 Medicare eligible MRIs and the government invites prospective facilities to apply for consideration.
The total of 30 sites to receive Medicare subsidised MRIs will provide more than 400,000 Australians access to lifesaving scans with a total $175 million investment from the Morrison Government.
Medicare spending is guaranteed and increasing every year from approximately $24 billion in 2017-18 to $28.8 billion in 2021-22.
The Liberal National Government has also announced an additional $2 billion investment in diagnostic imaging over the next decade.
We are retaining the bulk-billing incentive and indexing targeted diagnostic imaging services including mammography, fluoroscopy, CT scans and interventional procedures.
By contrast, Labor has only committed $80 million and not made any commitment to the re-indexation of diagnostic imaging rebates.
The Liberal National Government is helping Australians stay healthy while keeping the cost of healthcare down for families.