'Crying need' for bulk billing facility
CENTRAL Queensland Radiology's Susan Jochheim said there was a crying need for a Medicare rebateable MRI facility in Gladstone which will have the ability to bulk-bill the scans.
"Medicare issues licences and these licence allows you to get a rebate," she said.
"Gladstone used to share a licence when there was a mobile machine operating here, but that hasn't been the case for a number of years."
The only bulk billing radiology facilities available in Central Queensland are in Rockhampton.
"We have a lot of patients travelling to Rockhampton each day," Ms Jochheim said.
"It impacts our business, but it's not as big an impact on the people having to travel to Rockhampton for scans or x-rays.
"They often have to take a day off work and drive up because they can't get there via rail.
"The hospital offers a limited bus service, but even that is awkward for elderly, or unwell, patients."
Ms Jochheim said representatives from both sides of politics have been vocal in their support for the licence.
"We've submitted the licence applications and they're under review, we should find out hopefully before Christmas if we're successful," she said.
"It's very frustrating, we've got brilliant equipment, trained radiologists, we're ready to go, all we need is the licence."