Win for GPs as Medicare-funded MRI scans for children begin

The AMA – which had lobbied for the changes – welcomed the new arrangements, announced earlier this year as part of the 2011–12 federal budget.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said previous laws limiting Medicare subsidies to MRIs requested by specialists only had potentially delayed appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

“GPs were not allowed access to the best available technology when caring for patients," Dr Hambleton said.

“This new arrangement will improve access to care, reduce costs to the health system, and provide further support for GPs to provide better care for patients.

“Importantly, it also avoids unnecessary patient exposure to ionising radiation in CT scanning.”

In a document outlining the changes – which the AMA worked with government to implement – the association said from today rebates for GP-ordered MRIs would be available for: