The community of western Sydney will now have greater access to important scans from Mount Druitt Hospital’s state-of-the-art MRI machine, following an announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia today.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard visited Mount Druitt Hospital to announce that the facility’s MRI machine will be Medicare-licensed from November 1.
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan takes pictures of a person’s organs, soft tissues, muscles and the brain.
From a Medicare patient’s point of view, licensing means that there will no longer be an out-of-pocket charge when receiving an MRI scan at Mount Druitt Hospital.
The announcement today highlighted the Federal Government’s $175 million boost towards 30 bulk-billed MRI machines across the country. Ten licenses will be issued from November 1 and 20 others will be open to expressions of interest from tomorrow.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding will ensure Medicare bulk-billed access to MRI treatment.
“In a place like Mount Druitt Hospital you’ve got Australians now able to access important medical treatments.”
Mount Druitt Hospital’s $6 million MRI unit was introduced as part of Stage 2 of the facility’s expansion project. It officially opened in October 2017.
The hospital’s MRI machine weighs eight tonnes – which is roughly the weight of two small elephants.
MRI machines at Blacktown and Westmead hospitals are already Medicare-licensed.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said MRIs save and protect lives.
“Here at Mount Druitt they’re already being used in cancer diagnosis or stroke detection.”
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said western Sydney is the beating heart of Sydney.
“We are focused on delivering first-class health services for the people of the west.”
Seventeen-year-old Elie Nol recently benefited from Mount Druitt Hospital’s MRI machine, following an incident while doing gymnastics.
“I was experiencing severe headaches, nausea and neck pain. It really scared me, but the MRI was really accessible and a good procedure.”
Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals’ director of imaging James Nol said Mount Druitt has the Taj Mahal of MRI units.
“This machine produces the best images in the country.”