Dear Editor,

This week the new MRI unit at Riverland General Hospital opened in Berri. This is a momentous occasion for the region, no longer do those in the Riverland need to be treated as second class citizens when it comes to accessing important diagnostic medical tools such as an MRI.

I am thrilled that after I presented my petition signed by over 4,000 people to the Federal Minister for Health, a Medicare eligible MRI licence for the Riverland was granted in March 2019. Now under two years later, the community has access to this important facility.

This will save thousands of trips to Adelaide and Mildura, countless hours of travel and the costs of doing so not to mention the inevitable inconvenience. Critically, it will also allow for a quicker diagnosis of medical conditions and earlier treatment.

The Morrison Government is supporting our hospitals through a $133.6 billion investment over five years, an increase of $33.6 billion, under the National Health Reform Agreement. The opening of this new MRI unit delivers on the Government’s commitment to improve access and outcomes for patients, particularly in regional areas like the Riverland.

I thank the State Government for acquiring the MRI machine itself along with other capital works at the Hospital.

Thank you once again to the Local Health Advisory Councils and the many local businesses, community organisations and volunteers who helped with the petition and of course to those who signed it.

This is a fantastic early Christmas present for the Riverland community, a great win by the community for the community.

Tony Pasin MP

Member for Barker