Rebekha Sharkie is continuing her pledge to have a Medicare rebatable MRI available in the Mt Barker region, this week hosting a positive meeting with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on the issue.
Ms Sharkie has released the costings of the license for both the Victor Harbor and Mt Barker regions, the Parliamentary Budget Office estimates showing it would cost around $1.3 million a year to operate a machine in the Hills and about the same for the South Coast.
“I first raised this issue back in September 2016 with the then Health Minister Sussan Ley. This week I had a positive meeting with Health Minister Greg Hunt and I believe the Minister recognises this is an important issue for Mayo." Said Ms Sharkie.
“The Country SA Primary Health Network has the lowest number of full Medicare-eligible MRI units in Australia and we know Mayo residents opt to travel to Adelaide for 5000 procedures a year because the imaging is more affordable.
“This equates to about 20 patients a day from the Adelaide Hills region and the same for the South Coast."
Currently patients in Mt barker pay around $300 every time they require a scan with some telling the Member for Mayo that they put off having one because they either can’t afford it or can’t travel to an area where it’s available on Medicare.
“Mount Barker and Victor Harbor are fast growing regions and it’s time they had access to Medicare-subsidised MRI services.”