Labor offers new MRI licence for Mt Barker

Labor leader Bill Shorten, campaigning in Mayo, has promised Mt Barker will better access to MRIs

The federal opposition has committed to cut medical costs for thousands of people in the Adelaide Hills in leader Bill Shorten's first foray into Mayo ahead of this month's by-election.

Mr Shorten said the opposition would support the provision of a new Medicare-rebatable MRI licence for Mt Barker to remove the need for patients to travel into the city.

"This is a practical, good news story for the thousands of people who live here. Why should people have to drive all the way to Adelaide to get an MRI scan and claim it back on Medicare," Mr Shorten told reporters on Friday.

An MRI machine is currently available in Mt Barker but patients who use the service are unable to claim a partial refund on the cost for Medicare.

Mr Shorten said that results in patients either paying more for the service locally or making the trip to Adelaide.

He said the Mt Barker licence was the third committed to by the opposition so far as part of a policy to provide an additional 20 MRI licences around the country.

The first two have been earmarked for Kalgoorlie and one for Brisbane's northern suburbs.

Mr Shorten said it was expected the Mt Barker services would save individual patients hundreds of dollars and would perform about 4000 scans each year.

"I understand that if you want to improve health outcomes for patients, make it easier to see the doctor," Mr Shorten said.