Fiona Phillips

LABOR TO DELIVER MEDICARE-FUNDED MRI SCANS FOR THE NSW SOUTH COAST

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A Shorten Labor Government will deliver affordable access to life-saving medical scans to the
people of the NSW South Coast.


Labor will fund a Medicare MRI licence at Batemans Bay Hospital so locals can finally get the
scans they need close to home without being hit with high out-of-pocket costs.

 

 

Currently, people in Batemans Bay have to drive 120km to Nowra to access the nearest
Medicare-subsidised MRI machine.

This is clearly not acceptable.

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As part of today’s announcement Labor is calling on the NSW Government to upgrade the
hospital’s radiology department to provide CT, ultrasound and x-ray services – and funding
an MRI machine. Labor’s commitment is contingent on this upgrade.

We believe it should be your Medicare card, not your credit card, which determines your
access to great healthcare in Australia – that’s why we’re committed to making health care
more affordable.

The Liberals have completely neglected MRI scans, granting only five MRI licences during
five years in office – and the latest only as a result of a dodgy deal with One Nation in
Western Australia.

This has been one of the most disgraceful health policy failures since the Liberals came to
power – and that’s saying something.

Morrison and the Liberals have spent five years cutting the essential services middle and
working Australians rely on, while giving tax handouts to the top end of town. At the same
time they’ve done nothing to address this scandal and give Australians more affordable
access to potentially life-saving scans.

In contrast, Labor granted 238 licences when we were in office, with hundreds of
communities benefiting from the early detection and diagnosis of disease today because of
Labor’s investment.

MRI scans are used to detect and diagnose conditions that affect soft tissue – including
tumours and cancer – and are critical in the early detection of many diseases.

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.
That means the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s neglect could have deadly
consequences.

Labor will deliver another 20 licences across the country if we win the next election –
including in Batemans Bay.

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