Plea for medical scanner
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.