Magnetic Resonance Imaging – improved access

Medicare eligibility will be provided for three more MRI units, to be located in areas of need. The new MRI at Dubbo also receives a start-up grant.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

PDF printable version of Magnetic Resonance Imaging – improved access (PDF 38 KB)

Why is this important?

  • MRI plays a critical role in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and conditions such as cancer, strokes and heart disease.
  • This initiative provides funding to increase Medicare eligibility for three MRI units in areas of need to be identified. Funding is also provided in this Budget to support the Medicare-eligible MRI unit in Dubbo, NSW.

Who will benefit?

  • An additional 450,000 people are expected to gain better access to more affordable MRI services in areas of need through the location of the three new machines. The new machines will each provide approximately 15,000 MRI scans over four years.
  • The MRI service in Dubbo services about 100,000 people in central-western NSW. The start-up grant will ensure affordable access to commercially viable MRI in Dubbo.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • Total funding of $16.4 million over four years has been committed to establishing three new MRI units in areas of need.
  • An additional start-up grant of $1.5 million over three years has also been provided in the 2007-08 Budget for the new MRI unit in Dubbo. Half a million dollars has already been provided for the first year of operation.

What have we done in the past?

  • The Government has expanded access to Medicare-eligible MRI, from 18 units in 1998 to 115 units once this latest expansion has been fully implemented. The expansions have focused on relatively under-serviced metropolitan and regional areas.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • Medicare eligibility for the three new MRI units in areas of need will be ongoing.
  • The grant for the Dubbo MRI acknowledges the costs of establishing such a service in this regional centre. It will continue until 2010.

In this section