MRI ser­vice cut at knees

Kalamunda Reporter - - News -

SWAN Hills MLA Jes­sica Shaw has slammed the Turn­bull gov­ern­ment for re­stric­tions to MRI ser­vices, which will mean more cut­backs for peo­ple older than 50.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment an­nounced in the 2018-19 Bud­get that MRI knee scans would no longer be avail­able on re­fer­ral from a GP for peo­ple over 50.

Ms Shaw said this meant peo­ple need­ing scans would now have to pay $600 out-of-pocket or wait for a spe­cial­ist re­fer­ral.

Ms Shaw has cam­paigned for more than a year for equal ac­cess to MRI ser­vices at St John of God Mid­land Pub­lic Hospi­tal, with the north­east metropoli­tan re­gion cur­rently the only part of Perth with­out full Medi­care ac­cess.

She said the new cut­backs were not good enough.

“We need to take up the fight for full ac­cess to MRI ser­vices at SJOG Mid­land Pub­lic Hospi­tal; we de­serve the same ac­cess as the rest of Perth. Th­ese new cut­backs just add in­sult to in­jury,” she said.

“Why does Mr Turn­bull think it’s OK for over 50s to wait in pain for ser­vices that other age groups can re­ceive for free? Why is it OK that peo­ple who live else­where in Perth have full ac­cess un­der Medi­care and we don’t?”

The Fed­eral La­bor Op­po­si­tion has said it will in­vest $80 mil­lion to boost the num­ber of full-li­cence MRI ma­chines, with at least 10 new full MRI li­cences for pub­lic hos­pi­tals.

Ms Shaw said it was un­ac­cept­able that the only pub­lic hospi­tal in the re­gion did not have a full MRI li­cence.

“Our re­peated com­plaints to lo­cal fed­eral MPs Chris­tian Porter and Ken Wyatt and the Fed­eral Min­is­ter (Greg) Hunt have all fallen on deaf ears,” she said.

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