MRI (magnetic resonance imaging scan) Scanning is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses magnetism; a strong fixed magnetic field and a coil to produce weaker rapidly varying magnetic fields; these magnetic fields excite all hydrogen atoms to momentarily become weak radio transmitters that make radio waves that exit from the body.

Hydrogen - contained naturally in all water and fat molecules inside the body – acts as a weak radio transmitter when exposed to rapidly varying magnetic fields. The radio waves produced by the hydrogen in the body are received by a coil placed around the patient and a map of these radio waves is produced to show water and fat concentration within the body.

To make the fixed magnetic field, there is a very large and powerful magnet in the MRI suite with a hole in the middle where the patient lies. A coil is then positioned around the patient to receive the signals from the hydrogen atoms in the body.

The MRI image shows many internal structures very well, including: soft tissue in the brain, breasts, spine, abdomen, pelvis, and the upper and lower limbs.

There can be problems with some patients due to the very powerful magnetic field used. Please tell us about any surgery or devices you may have implanted inside of you. If you would like to know more about the risks and benefits of MRI, ask the technician or radiologist when you attend your examination.

MRI Cost
We BULK BILL all Medicare Eligible Scans. No gap means no out of pocket expense. Please check if your scan is eligible when booking. It’s your choice where you have your Scan or Xray. Call us with any Imaging request form for an appointment.


Medicare will NOW cover the following MRI examinations referred by a GP for patients over 16 years of age: head, spine, knees (applies to certain conditions).

Medicare covers the following MRI examinations referred by a GP for patients under 16 years of age: head, spine, hips, elbows, and wrists (applies to certain conditions).

Your Specialist can refer certain adult patients for Medicare Eligible MRI (applies to a limited number of conditions).


In the case that an MRI scan is not Medicare eligible then fees will apply. Please check with out reception staff when booking.


Medicare Rebate for MRI


FIVEaa  Andrew Reimer and Dr. Cate Howell chat with Assoc. Professor Roger Davies (AdelaideMRI) about Medicare Rebated MRI (17th November 2013). 




New Medicare items:

Referral by a medical practitioner for scan of the HEAD, where any of the following conditions are present:

  • unexplained seizure(s)
  • unexplained chronic headache with suspected intracranial pathology
  • Referral by a medical practitioner for scan of SPINE, where suspected:

  • cervical spine trauma
  • cervical radiculopathy
  • Referral by a medical practitioner for a scan of the KNEE following acute knee trauma with:

  • inability to extend the knee suggesting the possibility of acute meniscal tear
  • clinical findings suggesting acute anterior cruciate ligament tear


    Scan of head for any of the following:

  • unexplained seizure(s)
  • unexplained headache where significant pathology is suspected
  • paranasal sinus pathology which has not responded to conservative therapy
  • Scan of spine following radiographic examination for any or the following:

  • significant trauma
  • unexplained neck or back pain with associated neurological signs
  • unexplained back pain where significant pathology is suspected
  • Scan of knee following radiographic examination for internal joint derangement.

    Scan of hip following radiographic examination for any of the following:

  • suspected septic arthritis
  • suspected slipped capital femoral epiphysis
  • suspected Perthes disease
  • Scan of elbow following radiographic examination where a significant fracture or avulsion injury is suspected that will change management.


    Scan of wrist following radiographic examination where scaphoid fracture is suspected.



    MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) where the patient is referred by a specialist and where the request for scan identifies that the indication is for the initial staging of rectal cancer (including cancer of the rectosigmoid and anorectum).


    MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) for the pelvis and upper abdomen, in a single examination where the patient is referred by a specialist and the request for the scan identifies:

  • A histological diagnosis of carcinoma of the cervix has been made and
  • The patient has been diagnosed with cervical cancer at FIGO stage 1B or greater. NOTE: Medicare Benefits payable for these services is limited to one occasion only.


    Where can I undergo an MRI scan?
    AdelaideMRI is offered at Medindie and Woodville South. You must ring and book an appointment to ensure you are correctly prepared.

    MRI Preparation
    Bring Your Request form, Medicare Card And All Old Xrays, Scans, Reports and Films Every Time You Visit Us
    Bring details of any surgical or other implant that you know about in your body.
    Tell us if you have ever been exposed to metallic foreign bodies around your eyes.
    Preparation varies depending on the type of examination. Many examinations don’t require any preparation. You will be told what to do at the time of making your appointment. You are welcome to ask questions regarding your examination. A standard MRI examination takes approximately 40 – 60 minutes.

    Ensure you advise our booking staff if you have a pacemaker, cochlear implant, or other surgical device in your body when you book.

    What happens during the MRI scan?
    You will be asked to lie on the scanner table with the part of your body to be examined positioned in the scanner’s gantry. You will hear a noise when the MRI images are being obtained, but no moving parts will touch you. There will be no discomfort.

    During the scan there is a continuous tapping sound, which may startle you at first, but often lulls people to sleep. You will be offered earplugs for hearing protection.

    During the scan, the technician can see and hear you at all times, as there is a 2-way microphone built into the scanner. Some patients experience claustrophobia, but the MRI room layout and décor has been planned to minimise this.
    Sometimes an intravenous injection of contrast material will be required, depending on the area being examined. The contrast can provide valuable information by highlighting certain organs and blood vessels on the MRI images.

    MRI Results
    The radiologist will often talk to you before or after the examination.
    They will interpret and report the MRI images. Often a second radiologist will also review your scan images, meaning the final report is issued the following day.
    The results will be sent to your referring doctor. As the images are digital they will be kept on our computer system for future reference; a hard copy in the form of a CD will also be sent to your referring doctor. You should always discuss the results with your doctor.

    MRI Safety – Can you have a scan?
    If you have one of the following it WILL NOT be safe for you to be scanned:
    • Cardiac pacemaker
    • Cochlear Implant
    • Neurostimulator

    If you have one of the following it MAY NOT be safe for you to be scanned:
    • Cerebral Aneurysm Clip
    • Metal in your eyes
    • Artificial Heart Valve
    • Pregnancy (in first 3 months)
    • Infusion Pump

    Recent surgery (less than 6 weeks) is a contra-indication to MRI scanning.

    Please let us know in advance if any of these apply to you. We may need to contact your doctor for more details if this is the case.
    It is very important you advise our staff when booking an appointment if you are unable to lay flat or suffer from claustrophobia.

    (Download Link) 


    MRI Risk
    The magnetic energy used is absorbed by the body, as minute amounts of heat. The energy levels used for MRI imaging should not produce noticeable warming effects inside the body. There are no known harmful effects at these energy levels; however excessive scanning of the foetus is not recommended; scanning in the first trimester is not recommended.

    Studies have shown MRI to be a safe technique with no harmful side effects. It can be performed on a wide range of body parts. MRI does not produce radiation.


    Patient Information Sheets (Please Click Below)

    Patients Dropbox Portal


    MEDICAL DISCLAIMER AdelaideMRI web site is not intended as a substitute for your own independent health professional’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries some risks. Before proceeding, you may wish to seek a second medical opinion.
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