Radiologists Deserve A Public Apology From Wooldridge – 29 September 2000

The Federal Health Minster, Dr Michael Wooldridge, owes all Australian radiologists and their families a public apology following the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that radiologists had no case to answer in the so called MRI scam, said Australian Doctors’ Fund, Executive Director, Mr Stephen Milgate, in Sydney today.

Mr Milgate said, “Dr Wooldridge sought to deflect attention from himself and his department by making allegations against radiologists.”

The Australian Doctors’ Fund supports comments by President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologist, Dr Barry Moore, on the ABC AM program, that the alleged MRI scam “…has been basically a political exercise which has proved to have no real basis in fact.”

“In December 1999 the Minister claimed that up to 250 radiologists could face criminal charges because they ordered MRI machines prior to the May 1998 budget,” said Mr Milgate.”

In fact, at the time, Dr Wooldridge claimed on radio that there was “…a significant minority within their profession that has problems”. The Minister also said “…I’m quite shocked by this. I don’t think we have ever seen mass greed on this scale before in health in Australia.” and “I’m absolutely shocked at the scale of this greed … it has been extraordinarily widespread in a way that is unprecedented.”

“We now find that the DPP has dropped any action against radiologists,” said Mr Milgate.

Chairman of he Australian Doctors’ Fund, Dr Bruce Shepherd said, “The Minister has damaged the reputation of all doctors for political gain.”

“The Minister must now repair the unjustified damage he has created by issuing a full and frank public apology to radiologists and their families.”

“He must admit he was wrong and that he is sorry for the damage he has caused,” said Dr Shepherd.