Mobile MRI unit to serve region

HEALTH care in Gladstone took a step forward yesterday with the announcement a mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit would be placed in the region.

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said the Australian Government had approved Medicare benefits for MRIs which would be provided by Central Queensland Medical Imaging.

Mr Neville said the mobile unit would be based in Rockhampton and would be operational within six months.

He said Gladstone did not have an MRI unit at the moment. MRI is an imaging method used by radiologists to view internal body structures using combinations of radio waves and magnetic fields.

An MRI is a large, non-invasive device which uses the properties of magnetism to create non-destructive, three-dimensional, internal images of the soft tissues of the body, including the brain, spinal cord and muscle.

Rockhampton was identified by an expert group as one of 16 areas of highest priority for access to Medicare supported MRI.

Mr Neville said the decision would not only make MRI technology much more accessible for people living in Gladstone, but would make it much more affordable.

'Getting a local MRI service is really good news,' Mr Neville said.

'Even better news is that the government has struck a deal with the MRI provider to limit the costs of MRI scans for many patients.'

'Pensioners and health care cardholders will not be charged any out of pocket expenses for Medicare MRI scans taken by the mobile service, and that's great news for the community.'

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