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More funds made available for diagnostic and pathology services

06 December, 2006

The Australian Government will provide more than $70 million in additional funding to Medicare for diagnostic imaging and pathology services.

This funding recognises the success of the Strengthening Medicare package in increasing access to GP services and the resulting increase in diagnostic services.

Diagnostic imaging and pathology services are provided through five Memoranda of Understandings (MoU) between the Government and professional and industry representatives.

The two largest MoUs cover pathology and radiology, which together comprised around 100 million services and more than $3 billion in Medicare benefits to Australians in 2005–06.

The introduction of Strengthening Medicare in 2004 and 2005 has increased the number of GP services which in turn has increased the number of diagnostic imaging and pathology services that GPs ordered.

As a result, the Government has agreed to add $39.2 million to the pathology MoU and $32.7 million to the radiology MoU.

This additional funding means that Australians will continue to have affordable access to high quality diagnostic services through Medicare.

The Government will continue to work with pathologists and radiologists to monitor the effects of policy on service growth and to consider whether further supplementation to Medicare outlays is warranted.

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