In our electorate of Longman, we have a population of almost 160,000 people but there’s only one fully licenced MRI machine.
It’s a real problem – if someone isn’t able access a Medicare MRI, they can be forced to pay high out-of-pocket costs and join lengthy waiting lists. Sadly, some people choose to go without the scans altogether, potentially putting their lives at risk.
Before I was elected, I’ve been lobbying for a new Medicare-subsidised MRI licence to be established in our region. That’s why a Shorten-Labor Government will make sure that people living in our region have access to these affordable life-saving medical scans by establishing a Medicare-funded machine at Redcliffe Hospital.
For many people living in the southern end of our Electorate, the Redcliffe Hospital is far closer than the Caboolture Hospital. When I was raising my boys in Dakabin, we'd often take the trip to Redcliffe Hospital for the mends and fixes that all active kids end up needing. Labor's commitment will mean that, no matter where you are in Longman, you have access to these important scans quickly and cheaply. This will also reduce the demand for scans at the Caboolture Hospital, reducing wait times so that you can get the care you need quicker.
MRI scans are vital in detecting and diagnosing conditions that affect soft tissue – including tumours and cancer – and are critical in the early detection of many diseases.
The MRI machine at Redcliffe is one of 20 announced nationwide, because we understand that improving access to health care is about improving people’s quality of life.
This commitment comes on top of my recent announcement to invest $10 million to establish a chemotherapy treatment service at our Caboolture Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Morrison Government is still sweeping through cuts to the Caboolture Hospital of $2.91 million in just three years.
I’m serious about our community’s health care system and hospitals, which is why I’ll be working to make sure Labor is in a position to deliver on these important commitments at the next election.