Medicare-eligible MRI unit for Bankstown

Earlier last year, the Government confirmed 15 locations for new Medicare-eligible MRI services, including Bankstown and applications were invited from potential providers for assessment.

The Department of Health and Ageing will work with the Sydney South West Area Health Service to help start Medicare-eligible MRI services at Bankstown.

Medicare-eligible MRI services are expected to be available in the first half of 2009 following changes to the Health Insurance (Diagnostic Imaging Services Table) Regulations 2008.

The Minister for Health and Ageing said that she was especially pleased that Sydney South West Area Health Service has agreed that no patients will incur out-of-pocket costs.

“MRI uses magnetic fields to generate images that can help diagnose illnesses. It is especially effective on soft tissue, making it important for working with diseases such as some cancers and strokes.

“The Government recognises the value offered by convenient and affordable MRI services to patients and communities throughout Australia,” said the Minister.

Member for Banks, Daryl Melham welcomed the MRI licence and said residents in his local community will benefit from more affordable scans.

“I am pleased to be advised also that there will be no out-of-pocket expenses for patients who use these services,” said Mr Melham.

Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare also welcomed the announcement that the services will operate out of the Bankstown Hospital.

“This technology has very positive benefits for our community and I welcome this service at Bankstown Hospital,” said Mr Clare.

Enabling people to be able to claim MRI services on the proposed Sydney South West Area Health Service MRI unit at Bankstown is part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to deliver better health care to working families – and an important step towards building a better health system for a modern Australia.

Media Contact: Chris Zogopoulos
T: (02) 9790 2466