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Medical boost for Fraser Coast
28 June 2012
Fraser Coast Radiology has been granted an MRI licence after more than two years of lobbying the Federal Government.
The breakthrough means many local MRI patients will soon be eligible for Medicare rebates, whether they are referred by a specialist or a GP.
Dr Robert Taylor from Fraser Coast Radiology said when the licence comes into effect from November 1; patients referred by a specialist will be eligible for a rebate, while from January 1, 2013, patients under the age of 16 referred from a GP for specific MRI scans will also be eligible.
“This is great news for the Fraser Coast as we have been working for a long time to get this licence.
“We’re currently installing the MRI machine in the surgery and fingers crossed it should be up and running in the next six weeks.”
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses magnetic fields to generate images that help diagnose illness, without using ionizing radiation.
“It is especially effective on soft tissue, making it very important when working with patients suffering from cancers or strokes or soft tissue injuries,” Dr Taylor said.
As part of a $104.4 million reform package, Fraser Coast Radiology received one of 30 new licences granted by the Department of Health and Ageing, taking the total number of Medicare eligible MRI services across regional Australia to 64.
FCRC Mayor Gerard O’Connell said the licence would help with the cost of medical treatment for a large number of Fraser Coast residents.
“This is absolutely fantastic news for the entire region,” Cr O’Connell said.
“I know Dr Taylor and his team have been working hard for the better part of two years to be granted a licence and it really will make a lot of difference for a lot of people.”
Dr Taylor praised Council’s support during the process.
“All Councillors have been very supportive since we started lobbying for the licence and it’s great that it’s finally come to fruition.”