Australia’s health minister has said that CT scanners and medical devices will be tested on an “ongoing” basis in an effort to improve health care in Australia.
Health Minister Peter Dutton said on Friday that Australia was investing heavily in technology to improve its health care system, with about $30 billion invested in technology between 2013 and 2020.
The technology involves the use of “fluorescent imaging”, which allows the capture of light from different parts of the body.
In Australia, people who have undergone CT scans are required to receive a diagnosis of a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications.
Currently, most patients are referred to a hospital, but there is also a clinical trial program for people who can’t be treated at home.
Dutton said that this trial program would be expanded to include people who had surgery or surgery-related complications, as well as people who were in a medically induced coma or who had a severe stroke.
“We will continue to make sure we have a system that is working for Australians and we will continue the expansion of our trial program, including our clinical trial,” he said.
Dr Dutton was speaking to ABC Radio in Melbourne after announcing a $1.9 billion funding package for research into the future of medical technology.
He said that the Australian Medical Research Council, the Australian Health Technology Assessment, the Medicare Innovation Fund, and the National Innovation Fund would also receive $300 million.
“The key for the future is for our medical technology to become as advanced as possible, to provide better health outcomes and to deliver a better quality of life for Australians,” he added.
“We’re investing more and more into the health sector in the next five years.”
Dutton also said the Government would invest $2 billion to create a new medical device manufacturing hub in Melbourne.
Labor’s health spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said the announcement was “not good news for patients”.
“We have a shortage of CT scanners in Australia and the Government has been slow to act to fix that,” she said.
“There are no jobs created at all in the health industry, and Australia’s doctors are working longer hours than ever before.”
People are now seeing their incomes go up, not down, and we’re seeing a shortage in skills in the workforce.
“Labor’s Health spokeswoman Penny Wong said the government should take action to increase the number of people in the job market.