CENTRAL Gippsland Health now has its MRI Medicare licence, and is trialing a full bulk billing service for all eligible scans and referrals.
All non-Medicare eligible referrals will still be accepted, with a fee to the patient.
MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses magnetic fields and signals to create images of inside the body as opposed to using X-rays.
An MRI is capable of highlighting the anatomy of joint structures such as cartilage and muscles in great detail.
CGH chief executive officer Frank Evans said the ability to now bulk bill specific MRI scans was a step towards ensuring every person had access to decent medical care.
“Due to smaller populations, larger distances between towns and fewer technical resources, rural and regional health services face a number of different challenges from those located in the city,” he explained.
“Limited and shared resources between towns mean that not all medical services are available all the time and in a rural area, you may often have to wait until a specialist is in the area or travel to a regional or metropolitan hospital for more complex diagnosis and treatment.
“This MRI bulk billing trial will allow us to see just how much the service is in demand and will hopefully lessen the financial burden for some, while streamlining services.”
Patients must obtain a referral from their GP to have an MRI.
To check if the referral will be covered by Medicare, patients are encouraged to phone the X-ray department on 5143 8620.
MRI appointments can be made between 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.