New MRI license to save lives and cuts costs

Monday, 01 April 2019
Patients in Lindsay will now be able to access lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions, with the Liberal National Government announcing a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) licence for High Street Medical Imaging.  
This MRI licence means locals will be able to access a Medicare rebate for an estimated 3,719 services a year – saving lives and reducing the costs for patients. 
An MRI is a commonly used medical scan which gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels. 
It is used by doctors to diagnose and monitor a number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries.  
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the provision of the MRI license was good news for the Lindsay community. 
“High Street Medical Imaging has been a cornerstone of the community since they opened their doors in 2013,” Senator Payne said. 
“I am very pleased that more people in our community will now be able access a Medicare rebate when they’re going for an MRI scan. 
“The license will help cut out-of-pocket costs for patients.”
Patients will receive the Medicare-covered MRI services from April. 
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Liberal National Government is helping Australians stay healthy and keeping down the cost of healthcare for families. 
“Our plan for a strong economy means we continue to deliver record funding for essential services such as Medicare, public hospitals and life-saving medicines,” Minister Hunt said.  
“Our investment in MRI licences of over $375 million over the forward estimates for 50 new locations around the country delivers on the Government’s commitment to improve access and outcomes for patients.” 
Dr Jaspal Hunjan, a senior radiologist at High Street Medical Imaging, welcomed the Liberal-National Government’s announcement.  
“We at High Street Medical Imaging are delighted to hear that the Federal Government has allocated a full Medicare licence for our MRI scan,” Dr Hunjan said. 
“Since our business opened its doors less than 10 years ago, we’ve worked closely with the local medical referrers in providing world class quality cutting-edge service to the wider Nepean community.  
“In receiving the full licence, we also wish to thank the federal Government for taking our lobbying to a favourable outcome in best interest of patients, but also removing pre-existing monopoly of highly limited bulk billed MRI in the region.” 
Dr Tony Lu, a radiologist and colleague of Dr Hunjan at High Street Medical Imaging, said the license would increase access to the vital scanning service.  
"This fully-funded MRI licence will allow Western Sydney patients to access bulk-billed scans for not only GP-referred patients but this will now extend to all specialist referred patients. This will benefit those who need this life saving examination the most,” Dr Lu said. 
“Our ageing population with better life expectancy has an increasing need for accurate early detection and monitoring of diseases without radiation. 
“We welcome the government’s decision to expand MRI services and commitment to more than $500 million for diagnostic imaging over the coming years.”