Date published: 
4 February 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Liberal National Government will expand its MRI program to 50 new MRI licences, giving patients from all around Australia access to life saving scans.

As we mark World Cancer Day, this investment will allow patients to access Medicare-subsidised lifesaving scans for cancer as well as stroke, heart and other medical conditions.

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.

In September last year we announced the first ten locations to receive this new Medicare support and opened a competitive public application process for the location for a further 20 Medicare eligible MRIs.

In response to overwhelming demand of over 490 applications, I am pleased to announce that our Government will invest a further $150 million, bringing the total investment to $375 million over the forward estimates and delivering 50 MRI licences nationally.

The additional locations will be announced shortly.

Access to MRI scans keep the cost of healthcare down for families and will help Australians in their fight against cancer.

Last year we announced a number of new cancer medicines would made available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) including for leukaemia, advanced tumours of the intestine and pancreas, melanoma, bowel cancer and ovarian cancer.

At the Budget, we announced $703.6 million for the listing of Kisqali® on the PBS to support women with breast cancer. Without subsidy, patients would pay $71,820 per year.

Last month our Government announced $10 million for an advertising blitz to boost participation in the free and life-saving National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

In late 2017, we announced the Australian Brain Cancer Mission — a $105 million fund to fight brain cancer.

Our plan for a strong economy means we continue to deliver record funding for essential services and medical research that will help fight cancer.

Ministers: