State Health Minister misleading people of WA on MRI
The State Health Minister had been misleading the people of WA into believing that a decision on MRI services at the Princess Margaret Hospital was imminent, Federal Health and Ageing Minister, Senator Kay Patterson, said today.
19 March 2002
State Health Minister misleading people of WA on MRIThe State Health Minister had been misleading the people of WA into believing that a decision on MRI services at the Princess Margaret Hospital was imminent, Federal Health and Ageing Minister, Senator Kay Patterson, said today.
The expert committee that considers the allocation of MRI services was never expected to make any decision on the issue of Princess Margaret Hospital at its meeting tomorrow, she said.
Senator Patterson had asked the committee to discuss whether children in all States had any additional special needs that should to be taken into consideration.
Senator Patterson said: "If the committee recommends that children have very special needs and therefore require special consideration, the analysis of the need will begin. This could take several months.
"The committee would not be expected to consider just the needs of children getting access to the PMH. They would also look at the needs of children from all parts of Australia."
Senator Patterson said the processes followed by the independent committee were designed to ensure that MRI services were delivered to areas of need across Australia.
"Instead of sitting back and blaming everyone else, the State Health Minister can do something to help his State," she said.
"He can act now. He can take the lead from both South Australia and the Northern Territory, which have shown leadership and an ability to act in what they believe are the best interests of the children in their areas by moving to ensure the installation of MRI services."
Senator Patterson said both SA and the Northern Territory had not sat back waiting for the independent committee. Instead they had acted on their own priorities by installing MRI services and transferring Medicare licences.
"I ask Mr Kucera to reconsider. There is no reason that he cannot act immediately to install a MRI machine at PMH if he believes that is in the best interests of his State."
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