Patients in the St George area will now be able to access lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other medical conditions with the Liberal National Government announcing a new MRI licence for St George Hospital.

This MRI licence is expected to benefit the many Australians living in the region through a Medicare rebate and provide an estimated 3,719 services a year – saving lives and reducing the costs for patients.

An MRI is a commonly used medical scan which gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels.

It is used by doctors to diagnose and monitor a number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries.

Federal Member for Banks and Minister for Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman said the Liberal National Government is increasing funding to health.

“Today demonstrates our commitment to the people of Banks in delivering real results,” Mr Coleman said.

“MRI services will now be available as bulk-billed scans in the region.

“This is about listening, acting and delivering for our community.

“Patients across the region will now have access to eligible bulk-billed MRI scans and will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars to access the service.”

“The implementation of a permanent Medicare eligible MRI service will help close the gap in current and growing health care needs and importantly enable patient’s affordable access to these critical services,” Mr Coleman said.

Patients will receive the Medicare-covered MRI services from March.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Liberal National Government is helping Australians stay healthy and keeping down the cost of healthcare for families.

“Our plan for a strong economy means we continue to deliver record funding for essential services such as Medicare, public hospitals and life-saving medicines,” Minister Hunt said.

“Not only will our new Medicare support ensure patients get better treatment and save money, it will also cut down the amount of time patients travel to get a scan.

“Under the Liberal National Government, Medicare spending is guaranteed and increasing every year from $24 billion in 2017–18 to $28.8 billion in 2021–22 to support health care for every Australian.

“Unlike Labor we have also committed to reduce the cost for patients by indexing targeted diagnostic imaging services including mammography, fluoroscopy, CT scans and interventional procedures.

“The LNP is committed to delivering improved health services in Queensland which includes increased hospital funding with an extra $8 billion for hospitals taking it to $29.5 billion over five years,” Minister Hunt said.

The Liberal National Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.