A competitive public application process has been opened to determine the location for 20 Medicare eligible MRI licences.
The federal government has already announced ten locations to receive Medicare subsidised MRIs from 1 November 2018, subject to the sites meeting the required approvals and administrative requirements.
A total of 30 sites are set to receive Medicare subsidised MRIs which will provide more than 400,000 Australians access to lifesaving scans with a total $175 million investment from the federal government.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said an MRI was 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,” Mr Entsch said.
“I encourage prospective local facilities to apply for consideration for an MRI licence to access lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions.”
Mr Entsch said Medicare spending was guaranteed and increasing every year from approximately $24 billion in 2017‑18 to $28.8 billion in 2021‑22.
“The Federal Government has also announced an additional $2 billion investment in diagnostic imaging over the next decade,” he said.
“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.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government is helping Australians stay healthy and keeping the cost of healthcare down 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.
“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.”
To apply visit: www.health.gov.au/diagnosticimaging