The pres­sure’s on to keep MRI ser­vice

Pilbara News - - News - Tay­lar Amonini

Some hope still ex­ists for the Pil­bara’s first mo­bile mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing ser­vice as politi­cians rally be­hind it, hoping to prevent its clo­sure. As re­vealed by the Pil­bara

News last week, the Global Di­ag­nos­tics mo­bile MRI ser­vice is set to close at the end of this month af­ter it failed to at­tract enough clients, with the com­pany that owns it, In­te­gral Di­ag­nos­tics, say­ing its in­abil­ity to gain a Medi­care li­cence was to blame.

WA Govern­ment of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Mem­ber for North West Cen­tral Vince Cata­nia, Min­is­ter for Health Roger Cook and Mem­ber for Pil­bara Kevin Michel took to Par­lia­ment to ex­press their dis­ap­point­ment.

Mr Cook said health ser­vices were con­stantly try­ing to im­prove ser­vices in the re­gions but couldn’t do so if there weren’t “proper pric­ing mod­els to re­flect the costs”.

In­te­gral Di­ag­nos­tics chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Kadish said there was still hope for the ser­vice to stay in the Pil­bara if it got sup­port from the State and Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments.

The ma­chine, which re­quired five-10 pa­tients a day to make the $700 ser­vice vi­able, has been strug­gling since its open­ing as pa­tients have been flown to Perth via the WA Govern­ment-funded Pa­tient As­sisted Travel Scheme.

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice Pil­bara act­ing re­gional di­rec­tor Matt Raven­scroft said 521 pa­tients were funded through the PATS for an MRI in Perth in the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year.

Fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt did not spec­ify the rea­sons the ser­vice had been de­nied an ex­tra­or­di­nary Medi­care li­cence, in­stead say­ing in this year’s Bud­get the Govern­ment had an­nounced an ad­di­tional $2 bil­lion in­vest­ment in di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing over the next decade.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Du­rack Melissa Price said she was dis­ap­pointed with the de­ci­sion Global Di­ag­nos­tics had taken to re­lo­cate its MRI ma­chine, but un­der­stood it, given its in­abil­ity to se­cure a Medi­care li­cence.

“I am dis­ap­pointed with the de­ci­sion the Govern­ment has made, but I will con­tinue to sup­port Global or any other med­i­cal ser­vice providers that want to bring an MRI ser­vice to the Pil­bara, but en­cour­age them to se­cure their MBS list­ing be­fore mak­ing an in­vest­ment” Ms Price said.

Mr Michel said he would not stop fight­ing for health ser­vices.

“Fly­ing up and down from Perth is ridicu­lous, it’s a lot of money wasted,” he said. “We may as well en­cour­age some­thing that’s here and that will ben­e­fit the Pil­bara peo­ple as a whole.”

Pic­ture: Global DI­ag­nos­tics

Vic­to­ria Bai­ley, MRI ser­vice man­ager, sets up a pa­tient for a knee scan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.