Member for Bathurst Paul Toole has today again called on the Commonwealth Government to issue an MRI license to Bathurst Hospital for the 2500 residents that would require it each year.
Twelve months ago, the NSW Government announced $4 million for an MRI machine and room to be built at Bathurst Hospital.
At the same time the NSW Government wrote to the Commonwealth requesting a license as they are the only ones that can issue it.
This request was denied.
Further letters have requested the Commonwealth Government to issue an MRI license, to no avail.
Mr. Toole said he was disappointed with the latest response which referred him to the National Health Reform Agreements (NHRA) which means that public patients in the hospital will be able to receive MRI services free of charge.
“This, however, does not address or support those outpatients from within the community who are often referred by specialists, GP’s, physiotherapists etc,” Mr. Toole said.
“I have contacted the WNSWLHD who have informed me that this would service around
8-10 people per day or approximately 2500 residents each year.
“With no MRI license they will receive no rebate, may have to travel out of town to get one, and they would be out of pocket by hundreds of dollars.”
Currently Orange has two MRI licenses that the Commonwealth provided and the one in the Orange hospital services both inpatients and outpatients, providing a rebate.
Councilor Warren Aubin, who is chair of the Bathurst Health Action Group, said the Federal Member for Calare needs to come clean and stop misleading Bathurst residents that their hospital doesn’t need an MRI license because without it, outpatients accessing the service at Bathurst Hospital will be charged a substantial fee that many simply could not afford.
“If this was needed in Orange, then Andrew Gee would deliver the license in a heartbeat, but he does not seem to have the same commitment to the people of Bathurst,” he said.
“Our community and the 2500 residents from Bathurst who would need this service each year, request that you obtain an MRI license for the Bathurst Hospital and that it may be forthcoming in the coming months.”