MORE than 400,000 Australians will soon be able to access Medicare-subsidised, lifesaving MRI scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions at 30 additional locations around the country.
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, cardiac conditions, trauma and sporting injuries.
The first ten hospitals/medical centres where the Medicare-subsidised scans will be available are:
- Mount Druitt Hospital, New South Wales
- Sale Hospital, Victoria
- Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory
- Mount Barker, South Australia
- Pindara Private Hospital, Gold Coast, Queensland
- Northern Beaches Hospital, New South Wales
- Toowoomba Hospital, Queensland
- Monash Children’s Hospital, Clayton Victoria
- St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospital, Western Australia
- Kalgoorlie Health Campus, Western Australia
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the sites has been identified as a “location of critical patient need”.
“Not only will our new Medicare support ensure patients get the most appropriate treatment and save money, it will also cut down the amount of time patients have to spend travelling to get a scan,” he said.
A public application process will be held for the location of a further 20 Medicare-eligible MRI machines .
The additional 30 sites will bring the total number of fully Medicare-eligible MRI machines to 204, a more than 17 per cent increase across Australia.
“Earlier this year we boosted Medicare support for a new MRI scan for prostate cancer checks helping 26,000 men each year, as well as a new Medicare listing for 3D breast cancer checks, helping around 240,000 women each year,” said Mr Hunt.