The Nationals in Government have delivered for Tamworth, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) treatment under a new Medicare-funded licence in full swing at Tamworth Rural Referral Hospital.

Some of the first patients who received the treatment met with NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson, who welcomed the new Medicare-funded MRI licence.

“I began the fight for the MRI with former Health Minister Skinner and now Tamworth’s $211 million, leading-edge hospital and its radiography department is now one of the best in regional Australia,” Mr Anderson said. “This is great news for the region.”

“I want to pay tribute to the support from Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce and the Federal Nationals in Government to provide the Medicare licence for the MRI.”

“Previously patients that had a referral from their doctor for an MRI, needed to visit one of the two private providers of MRIs in Tamworth,” Mr Anderson said. “This new MRI licence allows for the scanning of all eligible patients with referrals from their doctor, not just those admitted into hospital for care.”

Federal Nationals Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the new MRI licence meant locals would be able to access a Medicare rebate for an estimated 3354 services a year.

“This is a major milestone for health care in this electorate, saving lives and significantly reducing travel expenses for patients who otherwise would have had to travel to metropolitan centres for treatment,” Mr Joyce said.

“I said to the people of the New England that we would get this service for them and now we see the hard-won results of that effort being delivered here today.”

Tamworth Hospital has always provided an extensive and high quality imaging service to its inpatients. Now with the granting of the MRI licence it can expand the service to benefit the broader local community.”