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Where’s the PET scanner for Tasmania?

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Where’s the PET scanner for Tasmania?

Senator Brian Harradine today asked the Government when Tasmania would join other Australian states and get a PET scanner. This was Senator Harradine’s last question without notice in his 30 year Senate career.

Senator Harradine addressed his question to Senator Kay Patterson as Minister representing the Minister for Health.

“The Commonwealth Government funds eight Positron Emission Tomography or PET scanners in mainland cities”, Senator Harradine said. “PET scanners are used to diagnose a range of cancers and Alzheimer’s’ disease and provide better information than other tests. But there is no scanner in Tasmania and hundreds of patients have to travel to Melbourne for the test.

“Given PET scans are difficult for Tasmanians to access, patients are not being referred for a PET scan where it is the best and most effective test.

“How long must Tasmanians wait until they have easy access to modern medical care available in mainland cities? When is the Government going to give patients in Tasmania a fair go and locate a scanner in our state?”

Senator Patterson stated that Tasmania would have to wait as long at 2007 for a review to be completed, before a decision would be made.

23 June 2005

Senator Brian Harradine, Tel. 02 6277 3735