THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
MEMBER FOR LALOR
LABOR TO DELIVER LIFE-SAVING MEDICAL SCANS FOR MELBOURNE’S WEST
The people of Melbourne’s western suburbs will benefit from affordable access to life-saving medical scans under a Shorten Labor Government.
Labor will deliver a new Medicare-subsidised MRI licence to Werribee Mercy Hospital, meaning the people of Werribee and surrounding suburbs will no longer have to drive long distances to access subsidised scans.
Currently, local residents can access an MRI machine at a private medical centre but face charges often running into hundreds of dollars.
For those who can’t access or afford the private MRI it means a trip to Geelong, Sunshine or Melbourne’s CBD to access a Medicare-subsidised machine.
Some people delay getting the scans they need altogether because they simply can’t afford it – potentially putting their lives at risk.
Earlier this year, a bipartisan Senate inquiry recognised that Melbourne’s rapidly growing western suburbs had a shortage of access to subsidised MRI scans.
Labor ‘s commitment will benefit everyone in the area and take pressure off MRI services in Geelong and the city.
Labor is acting to end the Turnbull Government’s failure on MRI licences.
The Government has 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.
Labor by contrast 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 much safer than CT scans, which can cause cancer in young children.
Labor will deliver another 20 licences across the country if we win the next election.
The first 10 licences will be reserved for public hospitals, with locations determined based on evidence to the Senate inquiry. The remaining licences will be awarded via a transparent application process under a Labor Government.
Labor is prioritising Australia’s health care and hospitals – we will reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s hospital cuts and provide a desperately needed MRI licence to Werribee.
We can afford to do that because we’re not giving $17 billion away to the banks.
TUESDAY, 31 JULY 2018