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Fiona Phillips: Labor to deliver Medicare-funded MRI Scans for the NSW South Coast

In a joint media release from the Hon Catherine King MP Shadow Minister For Health And Medicare Federal Member For Ballarat and Fiona Phillips, Labor Candidate For Gilmore they state that a Shorten Labor Government will deliver affordable access to life-saving medical scans to the people of the NSW South Coast which will see Labor committing to fund a Medicare MRI licence at Batemans Bay Hospital. Ms Phillips said that the commitment was "so locals can finally get the scans they need close to home without being hit with high out-of-pocket costs. Currently, people in Batemans Bay have to drive 120km to Nowra to access the nearest Medicare-subsidised MRI machine. This is clearly not acceptable." "As part of our announcement Labor is calling on the NSW Government to upgrade the hospital’s radiology department to provide CT, ultrasound and x-ray services – and funding an MRI machine. Labor’s commitment is contingent on this upgrade." "We believe it should be your Medicare card, not your credit card, which determines your access to great healthcare in Australia – that’s why we’re committed to making health care more affordable. The Liberals have 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. "This has been one of the most disgraceful health policy failures since the Liberals came to power – and that’s saying something. Ms Phillips said "Morrison and the Liberals have spent five years cutting the essential services middle and working Australians rely on, while giving tax handouts to the top end of town. At the same time they’ve done nothing to address this scandal and give Australians more affordable access to potentially life-saving scans. "In contrast, Labor 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. 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. "They are particularly important for children and young people because unlike the alternative – CT scans – MRIs do not use ionising radiation. Children’s Healthcare Australasia says that for every 1,000 CT scans, a new case of cancer is created in an Australian child. That means the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s neglect could have deadly consequences. "Labor will deliver another 20 licences across the country if we win the next election – including in Batemans Bay." concluded Ms Phillips

Above: Patient being positioned for MR study of the head and abdomen. Scanner is a Siemens MAGNETOM Aera - image source

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