Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 20 August 2001
Page: 29800


Ms Roxon asked the Minister for Health and Aged Care, upon notice, on 27 March 2001:

(1) When will the Blandford MRI Services Implementation Committee release the tender guidelines for additional MRI services to be funded under Medicare.

(2) How have the areas to be served by the 7 additional MRI scanners been selected.

(3) Will the distribution of the scanners be directed to fill the gap in growth areas such as the western suburbs of Melbourne.

(4) Will Footscray and Sunshine be included in the areas covered by the tender process; if not, what are the grounds for their exclusion.

(5) Will the existing privately owned machines in Footscray and Sunshine be eligible to take part in the tender process; if not, what are the grounds on which they will be excluded and what impact will this have on the western suburbs of Melbourne.

(6) What will be the impact of the Blandford recommendations on rural and regional Victoria.

(7) Why was there a 10 month gap between the receipt of the original report by Professor Blandford and the establishment of the Implementation Committee.

(8) Why has there been a further 4 month delay in the calling of tenders.

(9) Will the process be completed for new scanners to be eligible for Medicare rebates by 1 July 2001.


Dr Wooldridge (Minister for Health and Aged Care) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Request for Tender for additional MRI services was released in May 2001.

(2) The areas have been selected having regard to the distribution of existing Medicare eligible MRI services relative to population, and in consultation with State and Territory Governments.

(3) As the tendering process is still ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.

(4) As the tendering process is still ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.

(5) Any machines that meet the tender selection criteria will be eligible to take part in the process.

(6) The Blandford recommendations seek to improve accessibility to MRI services for people living in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.

(7) Following the receipt of Professor Blandford's report, the recommendations of the report were fully considered prior to the establishment of the Committee. The establishment of such a committee is a time consuming process.

(8) The review did not recommend an immediate call for tenders. A considerable amount of work has been required to fully develop the tender documentation.

(9) As the tendering process is still ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.