Government announces funding for new 30 MRIs

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced funding for an additional 30 MRI location across Australia.

The announcement follows months of rising pressure over access to the scans that give a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body and are used to diagnose and monitor a number of different medical conditions including cancer, cardiac conditions, trauma and sporting injuries. 

The additional locations are expected to provide access to MRI scans for an additional 400,000 Australians at a cost of $175 million.

The first ten locations to gain access to Medicare-backed MRI scans are in a range of metropolitan, outer-metropolitan and regional areas, in New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Minister Hunt said the ten locations have been identified and selected based on "critical" patient need. Some will be providing services from November this year.

The locations of the remaining 20 locations will be subject to a competitive public application process.

The latest 30 takes to 204 the number of fully Medicare-eligible MRI machines across Australia.