GP (general practitioner) - requested MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) services

This page describes the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) services that may be requested by general practitioners (GPs) and the MRI units (full or partial) required to perform them.

Page last updated: 10 November 2015

A quality health care system, that ensures patient access to ongoing and affordable; convenient and quality; diagnostic imaging services (regardless of where they live) has been a goal of successive Australian governments. Currently the number of full and partial Medicare-eligible MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) units (located in Australia) has increased to 350 (September 2015).

This increase benefits patients by enabling quicker access to:

  • diagnostic imaging services
  • a timely choice of treatment.
An increase in GP (general practitioner) MRI requesting rights is designed to improve patient access to timely MRI services. Some of the advantages that flow from this change are that:
  • a GP (as opposed to specialist or consultant physician) is able to manage patient access to Medicare funded MRI scanning services
  • patient exposure to unnecessary radiation (associated with some types of diagnostic imaging such as computed tomography [CT]) is reduced.

Full Medicare-eligible MRI units

Australia wide MRI units provide either full or partial access to the MRI services listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).


The following services may be provided via full Medicare-eligible MRI units:
  • six GP requested items for patients under the age of 16
  • four GP requested items for patients 16 years and over
  • five specialist and consultant physician requested cancer staging items
  • five specialist and consultant physician requested breast screening services for woman at risk and under 50 years of age
  • four interim listed PIP (Poly Implant Prostheses) breast MRI items.

Partial Medicare-eligible MRI units


The following services may be provided via partial Medicare-eligible MRI units:
  • six GP requested items for patients under the age of 16
  • four GP requested items for patients 16 years of age and over
  • five specialist and consultant physician requested cancer staging items
  • breast screening services for woman at risk and under 50 years of age
  • three modifying items
  • four interim listed PIP breast MRI items.
See MRI unit locations
See MRI services