$200 million to reduce out of pocket costs for scans

The Liberal Government will help reduce the out of pocket medical expenses for Australian families needing life-saving scans like ultrasounds and X-rays with a $200 million investment.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said for the first time in 20 years the indexation of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items will be expanded to all ultrasound and diagnostic radiology services over three years from July 1 2020.

“This means that the Medicare rebates for about 90 per cent of all diagnostic imaging services will now be indexed,” Mr Porter said.

“This includes X-rays for fractures, mammograms, pregnancy ultrasounds, echocardiograms, angiograms, image guided procedures and CT scans for the diagnosis and management of cancer.

“More than nine million Australian patients use diagnostic imaging services each year.”

Mr Porter said the Liberal Government’s plan for a strong economy continues to deliver record funding for essential health services that saves lives.

“We are delivering what Labor hasn’t,” Mr Porter said.

This announcement comes after the recently announced expansion of Medicare eligibility for an additional 50 MRI units across Australia at an estimated cost of $375 million over four years, benefiting over 800,000 Australians.

“A 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,” Mr Porter said.

“It is used by doctors to diagnose and monitor a number of different medical conditions including cancer and trauma or sporting injuries. These scans save and protect lives.”