Dubbo has one, Bowral has one and Bega Valley has three.
Goulburn has been trying to secure a licence for a Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine for some time but has lost out in the most recent federal government round.
The oversight has surprised the man who helped put the application together on behalf of Goulburn X-ray and Canberra Imaging.
Able Medico managing partner Mark Grahame said it was a mystery why Goulburn didn't secure one of 53 MRI licences granted earlier this year. Fourteen of those were given to NSW, including Dubbo and Wagga Hospitals, both of which were being redeveloped.
"Goulburn should have a full licence," he said.
"During the state election both Liberal and Labor said they would support it. I also know that (federal Hume MP) Angus Taylor is right behind it."
Mr Grahame said with Goulburn Base Hospital's redevelopment underway, it was a prime time to secure what he described as a vital piece of equipment.
An MRI machine uses magnetic field and radio waves to scan the body's tissues and organs. It is commonly used for cancer patients but can detect abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord, physical injuries, certain heart problems and diseases, just to name a few.
Currently, Goulburn patients have to travel to Canberra or Bowral for MRI scans.
Fran and Jim Croft know the experience only too well. Mrs Croft was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.
"It is a trial to get an MRI because you have to go to Canberra or to Bowral and there is no regular train service, so for people who can't drive, it is an issue," she told The Post.
"Also, to go by patient transport costs an arm and a leg and people cannot afford that. These are the only places they do it."
Mrs Croft said it has affected both her and husband Jim, who has had to attend Canberra and Bowral for MRI services following his kidney transplant.
"You can't have radiation in Goulburn either. I had to have six weeks solid of radiation in Canberra and I had to commute and that knocks you around," she said.
These are the people Mr Grahame had in mind when he was drafting the application to the federal health department. He said Goulburn and region met all the criteria in terms of health catchment, patient numbers that would use the MRI, a "low socio-economic," high reliance on Medicare and travelling distance to the closest machine.
The application was "fully supported" by Goulburn medical specialists and critically, the Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD).
The latter's chief executive, Andrew Newton, has previously spoken about the need to reduce costs incurred from patient flows to the ACT.
He said the hospital upgrade provided the physical space for an MRI but the funding and licence had not been allocated.
"The federal government limit on MRI licences has just been lifted and they've just announced another twenty. We're hoping to get one of those," he said.
"...We wouldn't be constructing the building if we weren't confident of getting one. There are positive noises coming from the federal government."
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt's office could not respond to questions, given the caretaker mode in the run-up to the election.
However, Mr Taylor said he would take up the issue "for the growth area of Goulburn."
"I will be making a strong case to Greg Hunt that patients here need access to Medicare subsidised scans. It makes sense that this service is available when the new medical imaging department is up and running at Goulburn Base Hospital," he said.
"I will be working with the NSW state government to look at opportunities for an MRI in Goulburn under any future expansion round of Medicare MRIs."
Labor candidate for Hume Aoife Champion recently told The Post she'd be advocating for a licence for Goulburn Base Hospital, especially given the party's $2.3 billion cancer treatment plan.
Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman said her predecessor, Pru Goward had strongly pushed for an MRI at the upgraded hospital and Health Minister Brad Hazzard had also pursued it..
"I'll definitely be supporting in any way I can anything that ensures Goulburn gets a licence," she said.
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