Thousands of Sunshine Coast patients will be able to access free lifesaving scans with the Federal Government awarding a new MRI licence to the region’s only not-for-profit private hospital.
Around 25,000 people are admitted to Buderim Private Hospital each year, but until now those patients needing MRI scans for serious medical conditions including cancer, stroke and heart attack had to pay themselves.
To avoid the costs, some patients even risked their health by leaving the hospital to seek free imaging as far away as Brisbane.
Now those patients, along with public patients from across the Coast, can have subsidised MRIs at Buderim Private.
Local MP Ted O’Brien lobbied hard in Canberra to ensure the Sunshine Coast didn’t miss out on one of only 50 new MRI licences granted Australia wide.
“Buderim Private is now able to offer Medicare-subsidised MRI scans which means patients who once would have been out of pocket around $500 for life saving imaging, can now receive those scans for free,” Mr O’Brien explained.
“This licence means 84 per cent of Medicare-subsidised MRIs will have no out-of-pocket expense with the remainder significantly discounted.
“Patients should be able to choose the best place for their health care and have access to the full range of resources available where they live and where their support network can be around them.
“This MRI licence means more local people can stay and be treated locally and I’m delighted about that.”
Buderim Private General Manager Wallis Westbrook said the hospital had one of the most technologically advanced MRI machines on the Coast but that it had been out of reach for many patients because of cost. This will no longer be the case.
“This is fantastic news for Sunshine Coast patients whose clinical outcomes will be improved through affordable access to this world-leading technology,” Mr Westbrook said.
“Today’s granting of this fully-funded MRI licence by the Federal Government is fitting recognition of the critical role Buderim Private Hospital plays in the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to the Sunshine Coast community,” he said.
“On behalf of Buderim Private Hospital and our patients, I would like to thank the Federal Government and especially acknowledge the Member for Fairfax, Mr Ted O’Brien, for his tireless support and advocacy for a fully funded MRI licence at Buderim Private Hospital.
“This licence will benefit the health and wellbeing of the people of the Sunshine Coast and our surrounding communities long into the future.
Mr O’Brien also extended his thanks to the Sunshine Coast community. The online campaign to secure a full Medicare-subsidised MRI licence for the not-for-profit hospital saw 2,275 people register in support.