Pilbara MRI hopes raised by Federal opposition
The Federal opposition has been urged to put providing an MRI machine in the North West front and centre of their election pitch to Durack voters next year.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten revealed a plan to fund 20 MRI machines for regional hospitals and imaging centres if elected next year during his Budget response last Thursday night.
Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said to have a new hospital in Karratha with no MRI was not good enough.
“We do need to have the numbers, and to get the numbers, we need to work with the Federal Government to allow us to get our hospitals to a point where we can send patients there,” he said.
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“Once we get the licence, we can work with that.
“I would urge the member for Durack to push this because we do need an MRI, we have a lot of businesses behind it.”
In his Budget reply speech, Mr Shorten said the new MRIs would be covered by Medicare
“For too many people outside the big cities, either their hospital doesn’t have an MRI machine, or it’s not covered by Medicare,” he said.
“So if you live in Emerald, you drive three hours to Rockhampton — or you pay hundreds of dollars out of your own pocket each time.
“Cancer doesn’t care where you live, or who it strikes — and you should never have to worry about where to go, or indeed to get treatment you can afford.”
Mr Shorten said the MRI commitment, as well as many others, could be funded through not passing tax cuts on to big business.
Mr Michel said the State Government was also working on providing doctors for Dampier and Wickham.
“Even if it is one doctor spending two days in Dampier and two in Wickham, that is better than nothing,” he said.
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