24 September 2018

Coalition Government to boost bulk-billed MRI machines
The Liberal Nationals Government is set to roll out 20 MRI machines, improving access and treatment for people requiring scans, Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said today.

 “A competitive public application process has been opened to determine the locations for 20 Medicare eligible MRI licences, under a $175 million boost to deliver additional MRI machines,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
“The Government has already announced ten locations to receive Medicare subsidised MRI units from 1 November 2018, subject to the sites meeting the required approvals and administrative requirements, and a further 20 locations will be allocated following an Invitations to Apply (ITA) process to determine eligibility.”
 
An MRI machine is a medical scanner 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.
 
“This new Medicare support will ensure patients get better treatment, save money, and cut down the amount of time patients travel to get a scan.  I encourage prospective local facilities to apply for consideration for an MRI licence, to improve access to lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
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 Coalition Government.
 
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Liberal National 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,” Minister Hunt said.
 
“The Coalition Government is committed to providing high quality health services when and where they are needed. 
 
Medicare spending is guaranteed and increasing every year from approximately $24 billion in 2017‑18 to $28.8 billion in 2021‑22.
 
The closing time for lodging applications is 5pm Canberra time, Friday 2 November 2018.  To apply visit: http://www.health.gov.au/diagnosticimaging.    All enquiries relating to the ITA process should be directed to [email protected]v.au
ENDS