Inquiry into the availability and accessibility of diagnostic imaging equipment around Australia
BCNA made a submission in October 2017 to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs inquiry into the availability and accessibility of diagnostic imaging equipment around Australia.
BCNA’s submission focused on out-of-pocket costs for services that are not subsidised by the government and the impact of these costs on patients.
Australians diagnosed with breast cancer encounter many different diagnostic imaging services, some of which are not covered by Medicare. These include:
- Breast MRI for pre-surgical work up and a number of other indications
- PET scans for women diagnosed with, or suspected to have, metastatic breast cancer
- DXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) bone mineral density scans for women taking aromatase inhibitors.
While these imaging services are not covered by Medicare, they help doctors and women diagnosed with breast cancer to make informed decisions about their treatment and can help to improve outcomes.
BCNA recommended in its submission that these imaging services ought to be covered by Medicare. Medicare rebates for these services will reduce the out-of-pocket costs faced by women and their families, alleviate some of the financial burdens of breast cancer treatment and improve access to these imaging services. This can help doctors and women diagnosed with breast cancer make treatment decisions, improve their health outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.