- TURNBULL MRI FAILURE COULD BE EXPOSING CHILDREN TO HIGHER CANCER RISK
A Senate Inquiry has heard evidence that a lack of access to MRI technology under Turnbull – especially in regional and rural communities – could be driving up rates of cancer in children.
Witnesses from Children’s Healthcare Australasia told the inquiry that for about every 1000 CT scans a new case of cancer is created in an Australians child, and that access was a huge part of this:
“CT is often used as a proxy for a MRI scan particularly of the head in children in regional and rural Australia…”
“We know that kids are probably getting CT scans due to lack of access.”[CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE AUSTRALASIA, SENATE INQUIRY, 9 NOVEMBER 2017]
Witnesses also said that the fact that the Liberals have only granted four licenses in the last four years was not good enough:
“So the Coalition Government’s only granted 4 licenses in the last four years, do you think that’s sufficient?” [SENATOR LOUISE PRATT]
“No. There’s clearly emerging parts of Australia that with population that, there’s been significant changes in the past four years.[CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE AUSTRALASIA, SENATE INQUIRY, 9 NOVEMBER 2017]
Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King said the Turnbull Government cannot ignore this crisis on their watch.
“This is extremely concerning – the experts are saying that Australian children are being exposed to a higher risk of cancer because of a lack of access to MRI technology in remote and rural Australia,” Ms King said.
“They have only granted four full/partial MRI licences in four years – with two handed out to Liberal marginal seats in Victoria in the middle of an election. Six of our eight states and territories haven’t had a single licence granted for more than five years.
“The lack of access to MRI technology is putting lives at risk and the Government’s failure to address this is a disgrace.”