BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LONGMAN
LABOR TO DELIVER LIFE-SAVING MEDICAL SCANS FOR THE MORETON BAY REGION
People living in the Moreton Bay region will benefit from more affordable access to life-saving medical scans under a Shorten Labor Government.
Labor will deliver a new Medicare-subsidised MRI licence to the region – one of 20 we will deliver nationwide, because we understand that improving access to health care is about improving people’s quality of life.
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.
If someone cannot access a Medicare MRI they can be forced to pay high out-of-pocket costs are join lengthy waiting lists. Some people choose to forego the scans altogether, potentially putting their lives at risk.
Earlier this year, a bipartisan Senate inquiry recognised that the Brisbane North region has a shortage of access to subsidised MRI scans – meaning locals have to travel long distances or delay their care.
The electorate of Longman has a population of nearly 160,000 people but only one fully licenced MRI machine. The nearby electorate of Fisher by contrast has seven MRI licences – one for every 20,000 people.
Labor will work with the Queensland Government to determine the best location for the new licence, which will benefit everyone in the region.
The Turnbull 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.
Labor will deliver 20 extra licences across the country if we win the 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.
This commitment comes on top of Labor’s announcement that we will invest $10 million to establish a chemotherapy treatment service at Caboolture Hospital and is a result of Susan Lamb’s strong community advocacy over many years.
Turnbull is cutting $2.91 million from Caboolture hospital in only three years and turning his back on the health needs of locals in Brisbane’s north.
Labor is prioritising Longman’s health care and hospitals, and we can afford to do so because we aren’t giving $17 billion away to the banks.
TUESDAY, 3 JULY 2018