Minister in MRI licence push
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.
Health Minister Roger Cook and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.