Better Health Services For Our Community

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Everyone deserves access to proper, adequate health services in our community, no matter where they live. I was shocked to find out recently that Fairfield City has NO fully licenced MRI machines, which means residents have to pay out of their own pocket if they need an MRI. That’s why at the February Council Meeting, I tabled a Mayoral Minute to write to both Federal and State Health Ministers requesting a review of the current MRI licensing system, and to push for full MRI licences in Fairfield City and other areas in western Sydney where they are currently restricted.

With no full Medicare-licenced MRI machines in Fairfield City (only partially licenced machines), you could be paying from $250-$800 per exam out of your own pocket.

MRI licences are granted by the Commonwealth Government and Medicare rebates are only available to MRI scanners with a ‘full licence’. So, in most cases, if you are a resident of Fairfield City and need to get an MRI scan that’s not covered by Medicare in the area, you’ll either have to pay, or be referred to Liverpool.

While Liverpool currently has two bulk billing MRI machines available, they are servicing a large population area. Fairfield City and Liverpool alone have close to 600,000 residents which is only going to increase with the Government’s proposed housing growth targets. Parking at both Liverpool locations is difficult and can be costly. No one needs that headache when they need potentially lifesaving scans.

MRI licences should not be the subject of politics, they should be available in all areas and be accessible to everyone on the basis of health care need.

Despite Fairfield City having some of the worst health outcomes, we are one of the few councils that does not have a full MRI licence. There’s no equity in our City, even when it comes to health. We are the ones with less capacity to pay, less capacity to travel and less capacity to understand the systems due to our large migrant population. We deserve better access to proper, adequate diagnostic services in our community.

/Public Release. View in full here.