Expansion of Medicare-eligible magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI – ITA – 2018

Page last updated: 01 March 2019


On 4 February 2019 the Government announced further investment in the MRI program, bringing the total of MRI units to receive Medicare eligibility to 50. Further information can be found on the Ministers for Health media release web page.

A list of locations that have been announced as receiving MRI Medicare eligibility under the Government’s expansion of Medicare eligibility to 50 MRI units can be found on the Expansion of Medicare-eligible MRI Frequently Asked Questions webpage (question 43).

Applications Closed 2 November 2018

On 23 September 2018 the Government announced an Invitation to Apply (ITA) process commencing 24 September 2018 to allocate Medicare eligibility to up to 20 additional MRI units, comprising a mix of fully eligible units and upgrades of existing partial units, in metropolitan and regional areas.

The closing time for lodging applications is 5pm Canberra time 2 November 2018.
It is anticipated that MRI units that obtain or are upgraded to full eligibility as a result of the ITA process will be able to commence rendering Medicare-eligible services from 1 March 2019.

Who can apply?

Providers of MRI services are able to make an application for Medicare eligibility through this ITA process. There are two Streams for applicants:

Stream 1 – Upgrades of partially eligible MRI equipment to full Medicare eligibility
  • with a current Deed with the Department of Health for partial Medicare eligibility for the MRI unit to which the application relates; and
  • who do not have a Deed for full Medicare eligibility at the same locations.
Stream 2 – Full Medicare eligibility for MRI equipment
  • with either:
    1. an operational MRI unit at the practice location to which the application relates, or
    2. will have an operational MRI unit at that location by 31 December 2020 (purchase of MRI must be able to be demonstrated by 30 April 2019); and
  • where there are no fully or partially Medicare-eligible MRI units at the same location.

How will applications be assessed?

Applications in each Stream will be assessed against the assessment criteria in the document below.
Invitation to Apply (ITA) For Full Medicare Eligibility Deed For Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Equipment - ITA - MRI 2018 (PDF 391 KB)
Invitation to Apply (ITA) For Full Medicare Eligibility Deed For Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Equipment - ITA - MRI 2018 (Word 144 KB)

During the assessment process significant regard will be given to the Primary Health Network (PHN) in which the MRI unit is located. Preference will be given to applications for MRI units located in PHNs with higher relative need to other PHNs based on the number of fully eligible MRI units per capita in each PHN, with the intention to more evenly distribute the number of fully eligible MRI units per capita across Australia. The current ranking of PHNs is below.

Number of fully eligible MRI units per 100,000 population for all PHNs

PHN name
Fully eligible MRI units per 100,000 population
South Eastern Melbourne
Perth South
Eastern Melbourne
Australian Capital Territory
Western Sydney
Brisbane South
Nepean Blue Mountains
Country SA
Brisbane North
Central and Eastern Sydney
Hunter New England and Central Coast
South Eastern NSW
Gold Coast
Country WA
Northern Sydney
South Western Sydney
North Western Melbourne
Darling Downs and West Moreton
Perth North
Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast
Western Victoria
Northern Territory
Northern Queensland
Western NSW
North Coast
Western Queensland

Lodgement of application

Applications will only be accepted via email to MRI.ITA@health.gov.au by 5pm Canberra time, Friday 2 November 2018. Late applications will not be accepted.

The application must include all the information requested on the Application Form at Appendix 3. Applications will be assessed based on the responses to the questions in the application form only.
Application Form (Word 96 KB)
Application Form (PDF 246 KB)

Applications must be completed in both Microsoft Word (2003 or later) or equivalent and converted into PDF versions, with the PDF version including a declaration signed by an appropriately authorised person(s) from the applicant.

Questions and Enquiries

Please review our FAQ in the first instance. These will be updated, when needed, based on stakeholder enquiries.

For all other enquiries please email MRI.ITA@health.gov.au. The Department will not be able to provide answers to enquiries that are not directed to the nominated email box, or made by telephone.

Information for current Deed holders

From the date of announcement of this ITA until the announcement of successful applicants, non-essential permanent and temporary transfers of existing Medicare-eligible MRI units will generally not be considered, unless warranted by exceptional circumstances (which would include emergency transfers in the event of equipment break downs, or transfers of practice ownership) as determined by the Department. This will allow for more accurate assessment of applications against the criteria related to PHN and location.