Far North Queenslanders will now be able to access lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions with the federal government announcing a new MRI licence for Cairns Radiology.
This MRI licence will benefit patients through a Medicare rebate and provide an estimated 3,354 services a year – saving lives and reducing the costs for patients.
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 a number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the federal government was increasing funding to health.
He said patients would receive the Medicare-covered MRI services from March 2019.
“This announcement demonstrates my commitment to the people of Cairns and Far North Queensland in delivering real results,” Mr Entsch said.
“MRI services will now be available as bulk-billed scans in Cairns.
“This is about listening, acting and delivering for our community.
“Patients across the region will now have access to eligible bulk-billed MRI scans and will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars to access the service.
“The implementation of a permanent Medicare eligible MRI service will help close the gap in current and growing health care needs and importantly enable patient’s affordable access to these critical services.
“Bill Shorten and Labor like to talk about health but it is the Coalition that actually delivers.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the federal 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,” Mr Hunt said.
“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.
“Under the Liberal National Government, Medicare spending is guaranteed and increasing every year from $24 billion in 2017–18 to $28.8 billion in 2021–22 to support health care for every Australian.
“Unlike Labor we have also committed to reduce the cost for patients by indexing targeted diagnostic imaging services including mammography, fluoroscopy, CT scans and interventional procedures.
“The LNP is committed to delivering improved health services in Queensland which includes increased hospital funding with an extra $8 billion for hospitals taking it to $29.5 billion over five years.”
The Liberal National Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.