Min­is­ter in MRI li­cence push

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Kar­ratha’s new $207.15 mil­lion health cam­pus would be able to house an MRI ma­chine, but WA Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook has warned it can­not hap­pen un­til more li­cences are granted by the Fed­eral Govern­ment.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten made a com­mit­ment to fund 20 MRIs in re­gional Aus­tralia if elected in his Bud­get re­ply speech last month.

Speak­ing dur­ing a visit to the Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus last week, Mr Cook said he had en­gaged with the Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion to make the case for more MRIs in WA.

“One of the things that has re­ally been hold­ing us back in terms of imag­ing ser­vices is the fail­ure of the Fed­eral Govern­ment to al­lo­cate MRI li­cences,” he said.

“We are very in­ter­ested to see how we can bring MRI ser­vices to North­ern WA and will look at where that would be best placed if we have the op­por­tu­nity to get a li­cence.”

Mr Cook said more ser­vices could be added to the health cam­pus as de­mand grew.

Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel said tech­nol­ogy in the new hospi­tal would help bridge the chal­lenge of dis­tance.

“More than 480 pa­tients at­tended tele­health ap­point­ments in the last year and it is ex­pected the ad­di­tional tele­health equip­ment in Kar­ratha will en­able many more lo­cal peo­ple to ‘meet’ with their spe­cial­ists here,” he said.

“Hope­fully, we can build on this hospi­tal and get some other, bet­ter health fa­cil­i­ties in the re­gion.”

The health cam­pus is ex­pected to open later this year. Fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt did not re­spond by the time of print.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook and Pil­bara MLA Kevin Michel.

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