As of 1 January 2017, Dunkley patients will each save hundreds of dollars under the Federal Coalition’s fully funded license for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services at Frankston Hospital, secured by the Federal Member for Dunkley, Chris Crewther MP.
On Friday, Mr Crewther and CEO of Peninsula Health, Sue Williams, announced that patients will be able to claim free MRI services at Frankston Hospital.
“This is an extremely important achievement for the region. MRIs have a vital role in our communities, providing diagnostic imaging for soft tissue illnesses, such as tumours or brain disorders. I am very proud to deliver on this commitment”, Mr Crewther said.
“It saves patients substantial amounts of money and significantly reduces wait times, particularly to those who need these services for time-critical issues such as cancer and tumours. It will save lives”.
Specifically, patients who have paid up to $390 at Frankston Hospital to get a scan of two body parts under the partial license will be able to have the scan at the bulk-billing rate (i.e. free to them), saving $390 under the new license. Patients who have been taking the option of having the scan at a private provider for $500 out of pocket will be able to get it bulk-billed at Frankston Hospital, saving them $500.
This major election commitment announced by Mr Crewther during the 2016 election campaign is expected to treat over 2000 patients per year, with significant health benefits for the region. It was the number one health need for the region listed by Peninsula Health.
Peninsula Health’s CEO, Ms Sue Williams strongly commended Mr Crewther for delivering on his pre-election promise.
“Securing $6 million for full public access to MRI at Frankston Hospital is a vital investment for our community”, Ms Williams said.
“As the major healthcare provider for the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region, our service needs to be accessible for all. Patients with a range of health concerns, and those with very complex issues, can now be assessed and treated in one place”.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, said increasing the Medicare eligibility for Frankston Hospital’s MRI means people in the area will have much better and more affordable access to the full range of MRI services.
“Increasing the Medicare eligibility of Frankston Hospital’s MRI unit means patients in the area can receive the best treatment closer to home, and at their convenience, reducing travel and stress during what is often an already difficult time,” Minister Ley said.