AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, today welcomed the Government's decision to allow GPs to refer patients for Medicare-eligible MRI scans.
From 1 January 2008, GPs will be able to refer patients for MRI scans of the knee and, where Multiple Sclerosis is suspected, of the head.
Dr Capolingua congratulated the Government on today's decision, saying there will be significant patient benefits from timely GP referral for MRI scans.
"The AMA has been lobbying the Government on this matter for some time," Dr Capolingua said.
"The AMA would ultimately like to see GPs allowed to refer patients for MRI scans for many more conditions than the two specified today.
"There will be significant benefits for the health of the community with patients getting easier access to the MRI scans they need."
To maximise the effect of today's announcement, there needs to be an immediate review of the arrangements between the Commonwealth and radiologists to ensure that all radiology and imaging services remain affordable and accessible for all Australians.