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Rural Doctor's Association calls for more MRI scanners

The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia has called for more MRI scanners in regional SA.

“There are no MRI scanners outside of the Adelaide metropolitan area,” said Rural Doctors Association President Scott Lewis.

Prime Minister Tony Abbot supported the call and said he would be “amazed” if an MRI licence was not granted to regional SA within 12 months. Health Minister Sussan Ley would need to be consulted. Mr Lewis said rural residents deserved the same level of and access to care as their city counterparts.

“Whyalla, I believe, has been provisioned to have one (an MRI scanner) installed sometime this year and that was granted about 18 months ago,” said Mr Lewis. “The quality of images you’re able to see and the amount of information you’re able to get from it is really huge, and you can do that without any exposure to radiation unlike CAT scans.”

Mr Lewis also expressed his amazement that Mount Gambier had been denied an MRI scanner licence, resulting in regional patients needing to travel to Adelaide. According to the Rural Doctors Association President, some patients were forced to travel upwards of 700 kilometres to Adelaide. “It just makes absolutely no sense,” said Mr Lewis.

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