Date published: 
29 October 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Fewer aged care residents will have the expense and inconvenience of having to go to hospital for x-rays under changes to Medicare.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said, “For the first time, from 1 November 2019 a Medicare rebate will be available as a call-out fee for the provision of mobile skeletal x-ray services conducted at a residential aged care facility.”

“These services include x-rays of the shoulder, pelvis, ribs and sternum; chest x-rays for suspected pneumonia or heart failure; and abdominal x-rays for acute abdomen or bowel obstruction.”

Mobile Medicare x-ray services were recommended by the independent expert Medical Services Advisory Committee.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator Colbeck said, “This new Medicare subsidy will mean fewer aged care residents will have to go to hospital for their x-rays.”

“Residents within a residential aged care facility who would otherwise need to be transferred to a hospital through an emergency department will get timely diagnosis and treatment.”

“This will significantly improve access to medical treatment for older Australians, and save on expensive costs, often including an ambulance, that come with transferring a resident from an aged care facility to a hospital,” Senator Colbeck said.

As well as saving patients time and money, the new call-out fee demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to keeping health care more affordable.

Minister Hunt said, “Overall, the Morrison Government is delivering an additional $6 billion for Medicare services through to 2022–23.”

“Our Government is providing record funding for the health system, including Medicare. In 2019–20, a record $104 billion in health will be invested, up from $75 billion seven years ago.”

The Morrison Government’s health reform agenda will make health care more accessible, more affordable and more patient-centred.

The four pillars of our long term national health plan are: guaranteeing Medicare and improving access to medicines, supporting our hospitals, prioritising mental health and preventive health, and investing in health and medical research.