Australia invests $375M for 50 MRI licenses

The Liberal National Government of Australia announced it is providing $375 million for 50 new MRI licenses at Medicare-eligible locations across the country, according to a recent release from the office of Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister for Health.

In September of 2018, Hunt announced an initial investment of $175 million to provide 30 Medicare-eligible MRI licenses to facilities across Australia. The additional $150 announced today will go toward 20 new sites that have yet to be chosen. The response comes after an “overwhelming demand” of more than 490 applications following Hunt’s initial announcement, according to the release.

“As we mark World Cancer Day, this investment will allow patients to access Medicare-subsidized lifesaving scans for cancer as well as stroke, heart and other medical conditions,” Hunt wrote in the release.

Canberra Hospital in Australia has come under fire as of late, due to staffing shortages in its radiology department. An audit of the institution found it failed to meet 28 of 32 criteria needed to continue training radiologists. Other news outlets have reported on similar shortages affecting hospitals across the country.