Plea for med­i­cal scan­ner

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler ■

Bet­ter ac­cess to magnetic res­o­nance imag­ing, or MRI, tech­nol­ogy in the North West will re­main on Fed­eral Mem­ber for Durack Melissa Price’s lob­by­ing agenda un­til the State Govern­ment takes ac­tion, she said.

Ms Price said the fact there were no MRI scan­ners in WA north of Ger­ald­ton was “to­tally un­ac­cept­able.”

“Peo­ple liv­ing in th­ese re­gions are forced to travel some of the long­est dis­tances in the coun­try to have es­sen­tial scans,” she said. “It’s time for peo­ple in WA’s north to have equally as good health ser­vices as the south.”

Af­ter dis­cus­sions with med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in the area, Ms Price said the call was sup­ported by the med­i­cal in­dus­try in the Pil­bara, Kim­ber­ley and Gas­coyne.

“Lo­cal med­i­cal spe­cial­ists are con­cerned they can’t pro­vide ba­sic health care be­cause sim­ply there is no MRI scan­ner in the North West,” she said.

“Twenty-first cen­tury health ser­vices are es­sen­tial to the de­vel­op­ment of the area.”

Ms Price high­lighted the fact the Fed­eral Govern­ment pro­vided fund­ing to the States for pub­lic hospi­tals, while the man­age­ment of pub­lic hospi­tals was a State Govern­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity.

La­bor Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son MLC said if an MRI ma­chine was based at South Hed­land Hos­pi­tal, it would be cen­trally lo­cated and more read­ily ac­ces­si­ble for peo­ple liv­ing in the North West.

“Lo­cat­ing an MRI ma­chine in Hed­land would en­sure that res­i­dents with sus­pected spinal con­di­tions or brain tu­mours could be di­ag­nosed lo­cally and not need to go to Perth for treat­ment,” he said.

“Even some Broome res­i­dents would un­doubt­edly pre­fer to drive to Hed­land to ac­cess an MRI rather than fly to Perth.

“It’s time bu­reau­crats in Perth re­alised there is life above the 26th par­al­lel and that we de­serve ac­cess to qual­ity health­care and po­ten­tially life-sav­ing treat­ments.”

The WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice de­clined to com­ment.

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