08 February 2019

Corangamite residents to receive Medicare-eligible MRI licence

Patients in the Corangamite electorate and across the Geelong region will now have greater access to lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions with the Liberal National Government announcing a new MRI licence for Epworth Geelong’s hospital in Waurn Ponds today.

This MRI licence means that local residents will be able to access a Medicare rebate for an estimated 5,900 services a year – saving lives and reducing the costs for patients.

The Federal Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson MP, visited Epworth Geelong this morning to make the announcement.  She was joined by Epworth Geelong’s CEO Damian Armour, neurosurgeon Mr Nick Hall and his patient Simone Kellett.

“This is really exciting news for our community,” said Ms Henderson.

“Thanks to this investment by the Liberal National Government, patients will have access to eligible bulk-billed MRI scans. They will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars for the service.”

“Families shouldn’t have to worry about whether a trip to the doctor will require an expensive MRI they can’t afford,” said Ms Henderson.

“With the Medicare-covered MRI services available from March 2019, we’re moving quickly to make healthcare even more affordable for local residents.”

Last year, Ms Henderson joined with Epworth Geelong to campaign for an MRI licence, with hundreds of people signing a petition in support.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Epworth Geelong to drive community support for this vital health investment.  I have been a very strong advocate for an MRI licence at Epworth and this is a big win for the people of Corangamite.”

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, trauma and 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.

“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.

“Our investment in MRI licences of over $375 million over the forward estimates for 50 new locations around the country delivers on the Government’s commitment to improve access and outcomes for patients.

“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.

“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.”

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.

8 February 2019