‘A positive first step towards better care’: Lung Foundation welcomes Budget spend
Today we welcome the allocation of $6.9.m funding in the 2021-22 Federal Budget to fund five lung cancer nurses and implement modelling for a National Lung Cancer Screening Program.
This commitment by the Federal Government comes more than two years after the launch of Lung Foundation Australia’s Making Lung Cancer A Fair Fight: A Blueprint for Reform. It follows years of tireless work alongside our dedicated and passionate consumer advocates, clinicians and partners who have contributed to our submissions, pledges and petitions, and who continue to fiercely advocate to local, state and federal members for a fair fight.
Together with our lung cancer advocates and supporters, we will continue to work with the Federal and State Governments to ensure that screening is fast-tracked and that direct specialised lung cancer nursing support is provided to all lung cancer patients throughout their health journey.
We remain committed to growing the specialised lung cancer workforce so it reaches parity with more than 520 specialised prostate and breast cancer nurses.
Today’s announcement is a positive sign that the Government is moving towards breaking down the stigma which has plagued lung cancer survival rates for decades. It is a step towards delivering best-practice care and services that inspire hope; and for those eligible for screening, it will be life-saving.
We know that screening works and want to see a program fully implemented as quickly as possible for all Australians at risk of lung cancer, including people affected by silicosis and occupational exposures. Lung cancer screening programs overseas have already proven to be effective in lowering mortality rates through early diagnosis and in Australia, Government-backed screening programs for breast, cervical and bowel cancers have dramatically decreased mortality rates.
However, we emphasise that this is only the start. The journey to defeat lung cancer has just begun. We urge the Government to continue the momentum in order to remedy the devastating inequity experienced by Australians with respiratory diseases.
We will continue to stand up for all Australians impacted by respiratory diseases and remain committed to achieving equitable, timely access to research, treatment, care and support.
Mark Brooke, CEO