MRI service cut at knees
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.