To offset the impact of the current Technetium (Tc-99m) shortage (the main isotope used in nuclear medicine scans), the Department of Health has added temporary nuclear medicine diagnostic imaging items to the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
Until Tc-99m supply returns to normal, GPs are advised to discuss the availability of alternative diagnostic imaging with their patients at the time of referral and continue to refer patients for standard tests which will be determined by the radiology provider.
The Tc-99m shortage is a result of a recent mechanical failure at Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. It is still unknown how long the shortage will last.
For advice on capacity and alternative diagnostic options contact your radiology provider.
Clinicians and specialists can also seek information from WA Health at:
Consumers can also be directed to the WA health further information at: