A Federal Government review examining 348 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) licences around Australia has failed to clarify when Australia’s gold capital will have a three-million dollar life-saving machine up and running.
During Question Time in the Senate today, WA One Nation MP Peter Georgiou asked Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (representing the Health Minister Greg Hunt), when Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital would be earmarked for an MRI license.
“Given there are already MRI machines in Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton, can the Minister give an anticipated date as to when a licence will be provided and approved to the Kalgoorlie Regional hospital for the proposed MRI machine?”
In her response, Minister Fierravanti-Wells revealed the Department of Health had “begun a review of the distribution and availability of Medicare MRI machines”.
“My office then discovered the review commenced six weeks ago, around the same time when I first met with staff from Greg Hunt’s office and first raised the issue” Senator Georgiou added.
“At this stage it seems that many residents of Kalgoorlie-Boulder will have to keep forking out thousands of dollars on travel and accommodation to Perth for important life-saving images and scans”.
“The State Government has allocated three million dollars for this machine. We need action. What’s even more concerning is that in the past three years, four MRI licenses have been approved, in:
Frankston- 50 kilometres form Melbourne CBD Maroondah-30 kilometres from Melbourne CBD
Epworth Hospital- in the Melbourne CBD Mt Gambier- 400 kilometres from Adelaide CBD
“If this doesn’t smack of a Federal Government that is eastern states centric then I don’t know what is” the Senator said.
“I would encourage Goldfields residents to lobby their local MPs and force action. Lives are at stake here.”
Senator Georgiou hoped the review would finish early next year to be followed with news of an MRI license for Kalgoorlie Hospital soon after.