Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee has thrown his support behind trying to secure an MRI scanner for the Lithgow area.
An MRI machine which would give patients access to life saving scans as it gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body such as muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels.
It is used to detect a range of medical conditions including cancer and cardiac issues.
This would be a big bonus to Lithgow Hospital after installing a new CT machine in February 2018 which has saved patients from having to travel to get their results or scans done.
ALFRED imaging services at Lithgow Hospital have been calling for an MRI machine for years as the hospital imaging department has grown not only in the volume of patients but in the level of services that had not previously been available in the local area.
This week the Federal Government announced that more licenses were going to be issued for MRI scanners, which meant scans could be subsidised through Medicare.
“MRI licenses are hardly ever issued, up until recently only five had been issued since 2013 and so they are like gold. There’s hot competition between the communities and hospitals trying to get one,” Mr Gee said.
Mr Gee said that local doctors and health professionals were very keen to get one at Lithgow, so for the past months, he had pestered the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, and his office to try and get one.
“The campaign for the MRI started last year when Lithgow lodged its application and since that time, I’ve had a number of conversations with the Minister and his staff about how important this is for our area,” he said.
“I also pointed out that the Lithgow submission contained very strong numbers in terms of potential MRI-usage.”
Mr Gee said that people want to live where there were excellent medical services.
“If we can secure an MRI machine for Lithgow, it would not only be much more convenient for local residents, but would also demonstrate that medical services in the area are expanding and are being set up for future growth,” he said.
“There’s still more legwork to do, but rest assured I’m working on it.”
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