The restriction of MRI funding in Australia, like a lot of Medicare outcomes, has lead to pretty cheap prices by world standards.
How much does an MRI cost if you are a private individual paying full price?
I've heard in Melbourne it is pretty much $250 a scan wherever you go. In Sydney the price varies from $175 at Pennant Hills to $500 with $275 probably the average price.
A lot of people are happy to pay this. Whilst a consultation with a specialist can lead to a rebatable MRI scan, often the gap for the specialist is $100 and then the gap for the MRI is $150 so the price is exactly the same if you are just going to the specialist to get an MRI referral.