Federal government announces development of a ten-year Australian Cancer Plan

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced the federal government will provide $6.7 million to support and improve cancer outcomes and develop a ten-year Australian Cancer Plan.

The $6.7 million will be directed at several projects with $4.7 million to go towards primary cancer care and genomic cancer clinical trials, national leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer control and the development of an Optimal Care Pathway for Neuroendocrine Tumours.

The remaining $2 million will be used to investigate children’s brain cancer, breast cancer, melanoma and lymphoma, and other areas of cancer research through Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS)

The funding will be delivered in partnership with the federal government agency Cancer Australia.

Cancer Australia has also today convened a ministerial roundtable in Canberra as a step in the development of a ten-year Australian Cancer Plan.

The Australian Cancer Plan will set out the key national priorities and action areas over the next ten years to improve cancer outcomes. It will also cover prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care while providing for the needs of specific cancer types and populations. 

“While Australia is a world leader in cancer control and we have made great strides in improving cancer mortality and survival rates, cancer still has significant impacts on individuals, families, communities and the health system,” said Minister Hunt.

“We must continue to take action to address the multifaceted challenge of tackling cancer and in particular the disparities in outcomes among cancer types and many population groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” 

CEO of Cancer Australia, Professor Dorothy Keefe thanked the Minister for the opportunity to develop an innovative Australian Cancer Plan in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, and to establish a framework for shared responsibility for implementation.

“The heart of modern medicine should be patient-centred care that focuses on equity of outcome”, said Professor Keefe.

“The Plan will build on current achievements, investments, capabilities and current evidence, but with a focus on the future of patient-centred and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focussed cancer care. It will harness emerging evidence, technologies and innovations to improve outcomes and benefit all Australians affected by cancer.”