THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE
LABOR TO DELIVER MEDICARE-FUNDED MRI SCANS FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL
Thousands of people in Adelaide’s West will benefit from affordable access to life-saving medical scans under a Shorten Labor Government.
Labor will deliver a Medicare-funded MRI licence to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; ensuring people can access the scans they need close to home without paying high out-of-pocket costs or joining long waiting lists.
This is part of Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan to protect Medicare and fix our hospitals.
Federal Member for Port Adelaide, Mark Butler says, “This is long-overdue for patients and residents of the western suburbs.
“I’ve always stood up for the interests of the QEH. I spoke out against the removal of cardiac, geriatric, oncology and palliative care services from the QEH two years ago.
“The people who benefit most from having their services close to home, accessible and affordable are the most vulnerable members of our society. Low-income families, older Australians, the chronically ill and people with complex medical needs in the western suburbs suffered most from the lack of MRI services in the west.
“I’m extremely proud that a Shorten Labor Government will deliver a Medicare-funded MRI to the QEH.
Catherine King, Shadow Minister for Health says, “Residents of this area currently face the sixth-longest wait times in the country for specialist referrals for MRI scans. The region currently has half as many MRI licences per capita as other locations.
“The Liberals 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.”
This is the second MRI licence Labor has promised for South Australia, building on our earlier commitment to deliver a licence at Mt Barker.
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.
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.
Labor has already announced 11 new licences for public hospitals around the country. We will still deliver a further 10 licences through a transparent application process if we win Government.
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 Liberal public hospital cuts and ensure our emergency departments and hospital wards have the doctors, nurses and hospital staff to keep up with record demand.
Labor can afford to protect Medicare and fix our hospitals because we are tackling unfair tax loopholes and making multinationals pay their fair share.
MONDAY, 4 FEBRUARY 2019