Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Expansion Brings Hope to Essential Tremor Patients in Australia

Approximately 800,000 people in Australia are living with Essential Tremor (ET).i Effects of the condition are often underestimated – it impacts every aspect of a sufferer’s life. A huge range of everyday tasks are disrupted, from writing to eating, drinking, dressing and speaking.ii The involuntary movement can be a source of significant embarrassment for individuals. In fact, almost half of ET patients have been found to live with social anxiety as a direct result of their condition.iii Research also associates ET with social isolation and fear, decreasing people’s quality of life.iv 

For many living with Essential Tremor (ET), common treatment options have traditionally been medication – which is often ineffective at sufficiently managing symptoms – or invasive neuro surgery.  

However, advanced Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound offers an effective alternative, delivering positive outcomes with minimally invasive, incision-free methods. It achieves this by targeting ultrasound waves across the skull, ablating deep in the brain tissue. 

Until now, this treatment was not included within the Medicare listings and so patients had to cover the entire cost themselves, which made it inaccessible to many people. 

However, the latest announcement by the Department of Health and Aged Care marks a significant milestone in healthcare coverage. The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) now includes magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound treatment for Australians living with medication refractory ET. This development will be life-changing for the thousands of patients who can now access this this innovative treatment for their ET symptoms, with funding provided to help reduce the cost of treatment.v 

For clinicians looking to optimise the treatment they offer these patients, the innovation available through Getz Healthcare represents the next generation of technology in the field. It is the first and only focused ultrasound platform for the treatment of essential tremor, delivering up to 1,024 ultrasound waves to the skull for highly accurate ablation. The procedure is guided by MR imaging to ensure patient-specific planning and real-time thermal feedback for the very best results. Discover more about this innovative technology here.

The inclusion of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound treatment in the Medicare Benefits Scheme represents a monumental stride towards improving the lives of Australians affected by essential tremor. While the specifics of funding and reimbursement may vary, this groundbreaking announcement signals a positive shift in healthcare accessibility. With this innovative treatment now within reach, patients can anticipate improved prospects and a better quality of life ahead.


St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. Available at: (accessed March 2024)

ii National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Available at: (accessed March 2024)

iii Hou L, Lei X. Risk factors of social anxiety in patients with essential tremor. Front Psychiatry. 2023 Feb 6;14:1051290. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1051290. PMID: 36815192; PMCID: PMC9939661.

iv Gerbasi ME, Nambiar S, Reed S, Hennegan K, Hadker N, Eldar-Lissai A, Cosentino S. Essential tremor patients experience significant burden beyond tremor: A systematic literature review. Front Neurol. 2022 Jul 22;13:891446. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2022.891446. PMID: 35937052; PMCID: PMC9354397.

Ministers Department of Health and Aged Care. Available at: (accessed April 2024)

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