Date: 7/11/2017

MRI Services Urgently Needed for Midland Hospital

Residents’ health is at risk, with the lack of fully licenced MRI Services at St John of God (SJOG) Midland Public Hospital affecting people in Ellenbrook and the wider Hills area.

Unlike other areas of metropolitan Perth, patients using Midland Public Hospital cannot access the full range of MRI services under Medicare, following significant cuts to Medicare funding under the Federal Liberal Government.

Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw and East Metropolitan Region MLC Matthew Swinbourn have called on the Turnbull Government to act urgently and issue a full MRI licence.

Ms Shaw raised the matter in State Parliament this week and said:

“It is completely unacceptable that people in Ellenbrook and the Hills do not have full Medicare access to MRI services at the local SJOG Midland Public Hospital.

“My constituents have to pay up to $1000 per scan for some services at the SJOG Midland Public Hospital. If they are able to travel to Royal Perth, Fremantle or Sir Charles Gairdner Hospitals, or the Joondalup Health Campus, those same scans would be covered by Medicare.

"A lot of people in this area are doing it tough – many of them simply can't afford to pay for these services. I'm worried that they might put off treatment for cancer, injuries or diabetes. They may also be reliant on public transport and not able to easily access other hospitals.

"Why are we treated like second class citizens here? Why does the East Metropolitan region always miss out? Things need to change."

Mr Swinbourn said “The Turnbull Government needs to urgently approve a full Medicare-eligible MRI licence.

“There is no fully licensed MRI in the north-eastern metropolitan area of Perth.

“I understand that the extra cost to provide a fully-funded service is only about half a million dollars a year.

“The MRI service is already on the site, it is able to be accessed by all patients, and 24-hour services are able to be provided if needed.

“The local community needs and deserves access to the same MRI services that the rest of Australia and the Perth metropolitan area has.”