Free MRIs for patients of Melbourne's south east

Patients of Melbourne’s south east will now have access to free MRIs (Magnetic resonance imaging) closer to home.

21 March 2019 

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt this week announced that MIA Radiology, located at St John of God Berwick Hospital were successful in gaining an MRI license.

The announcement came as part the Morrison government’s pledge to reduce out of pocket costs for medical imaging across the country.

An MRI is a diagnostic scan which takes photographs of soft tissue and muscle inside the body, whereas the better known x-ray takes photographs of bones.

A magnetic field and radio waves allow for clear images and are used for diagnosis and monitoring of conditions such as:

  • Injury and disease of internal organs
  • Spinal injury and disease
  • Joint injury and disease
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Tumours including cancer

St John of God Berwick Hospital Chief Executive officer Lisa Norman said it’s always been the hospitals aim to bring vital healthcare services closer to home for the community.

"We are thrilled to have received the ability to offer free MRI scans," she said.

"Previously, patients from Melbourne’s south east have had to travel 30km for an MRI and could be hundreds of dollars out of pocket following the Medicare rebate on the procedure.

"These costs have meant that many patients nationwide have missed out on scans each year. These are scans which could’ve saved or changed their lives.”

Jason Wood, MP (Federal Member for La Trobe) says that patients will receive the Medicare-covered MRI services from April.

St John of God Berwick Hospital is one of nine sites across Melbourne who have been granted the license.

It is expected that easier access and the reduction of cost will allow for better life-saving diagnosis and management of soft tissue disease and injury across the state.

Free MRI scans will be available from April at MIA Radiology located in the St John of God Berwick Specialist Centre at 75 Kangan Drive Berwick. A referral from your doctor is required.

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