CATHERINE KING MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
EMMA McBRIDE MP, MEMBER FOR DOBELL
LABOR TO GRANT A NEW MRI LICENCE FOR WYONG HOSPITAL
Residents of Dobell will benefit from affordable access to life-saving medical scans under a Shorten Labor Government.
This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will make sure people in our community can get the care they need in their local hospital, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.
Labor will deliver a Medicare-funded MRI licence to Wyong Hospital so locals can get the scans they need without needing to be transported to a private health provider or being hit with high out-of-pocket costs.
This full Medicare licence comes on top of Labor’s plan to allow hundreds more MRI machines across the country to bill Medicare for cancer scans.
These commitments are part of Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan to strengthen Medicare and fix our hospitals.
"Wyong Hospital does not have its own MRI so patients have to be transported to a private MRI provider for their scans," said Member for Dobell, Emma McBride.
"This causes delays in patient care – a Shorten Labor Government will make it easier for people on the Coast to get tests vital to their care," she said.
"I have listened to local medical professionals and heard regularly from patients about the need for this new equipment and the difference it will make for locals now and into the future.
"Having worked at Wyong Hospital for many years, I know the benefits this will have for patients and their families.
"Granting this licence makes it viable for the NSW Government to step up and pay for an MRI machine on site at Wyong Hospital so local patients can get the best possible care, under one roof, in the shortest possible time."
MRI scans are used to detect and diagnose conditions that affect soft tissue – including tumours and cancer – and can mean the difference in detecting a disease as early as possible. But they only attract a rebate if they are performed on a machine with a licence.
They are particularly important for children and young people because unlike the alternative – CT scans – MRIs do not use ionising radiation. Children’s Healthcare Australasia says that for every 1,000 CT scans, a new case of cancer is created in an Australian child.
Labor has a proud record on MRIs; granting 238 licences when we were last in office. That means hundreds of communities are benefiting from the early detection and diagnosis of disease today because of Labor’s investment.
The Liberals on the other hand, neglected this issue for most of their time in office, granting just one a year in their first five years. It has only been in recent months they have recognised their dismal failure in this space and moved to match Labor’s commitments.
Labor’s investment in MRI licences comes on top of our commitment to invest an extra $2.8 billion in public hospitals.
We will reverse the Liberals’ public hospital cuts and ensure our emergency departments and hospital wards have the doctors, nurses and hospital staff to keep up with record demand. And we will improve care and drive down out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients with our $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan.
Labor can afford to protect Medicare and fix our hospitals because we are tackling unfair tax loopholes and making multinationals pay their fair share.
MEDIA CONTACTS: LABOR CAMPAIGN MEDIA 02 9165 8299
JACKIE PEARSON (McBRIDE) 0402 402 295
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.