The Australian Government announced a number of new rebates and funding agreements, designed to give cancer patients better access to treatments and diagnostic tools. From now, 5000 new patients diagnosed with rectal cancer in Australia each year will be able to claim back 80% of the cost of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) through Medicare.
MRIs are used by physician when deciding treatment approaches in the early stages of the disease.
The government has also provided $6.8 million to allow cancer patients using another type of medical imaging known as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to claim Medicare benefits.
As per new rebate, patients at Sydney’s Royal North Shore (RNS) and Westmead hospitals as well as Melbourne’s Austin Health will be able to claim benefits for eligible scans.
While Westmead and Austin Health already have PET machines, an additional $3.5 million from the government has been granted to purchase one for the Royal North Shore hospital.
Another grant will provide $6 million over three years to educate new medical physicists, who are answerable for the maintenance and calibration of linear accelerators used in radiotherapy treatment.