BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS & ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
$37.7 MILLION TO SUPPORT CHILDREN BATTLING CANCER
A Shorten Labor Government will invest $37.7 million in a package of support for the thousands of young Australians who are diagnosed with cancer every year.
One in two Australians will receive a cancer diagnosis – one of the most challenging experiences they’ll ever face. For children and their families, navigating this is particularly daunting.
At least 1,700 Australian children and young people are diagnosed with cancer each year. And tragically, cancer kills more children than any other disease.
Children and families who are battling this insidious disease deserve the best possible care and support.
That’s why Labor will invest in children’s cancer support as part of our Medicare Cancer Plan.
A Shorten Labor Government will provide $24 million to CanTeen, the organisation that supports young Australians aged 12-24 as they face a battle beyond their years.
Labor established CanTeen’s Youth Cancer Services in 2012, and despite bipartisan support since, Morrison is set to end funding in 2020.
Labor will make sure this program continues its vital role. When a young person is diagnosed with cancer, they face a dizzying battle to navigate the health care system and connect with the right support. Labor’s investment in Youth Cancer Services will alleviate the confusion by making it easier to connect with specialists and support services.
We will also create a $20 million Children’s Cancer Endowment Fund – with a $10 million commitment to be matched by the Children’s Cancer Foundation, to fund research projects in children’s cancer.
This package will also provide $3.7 million to Camp Quality to continue their work with cancer coordinators in hospitals – directly supporting children and parents.
Children being treated for cancer often spend 6-12 months in hospital, and returning home after treatment is a daunting experience for children and families.
Camp Quality currently has a presence in seven metropolitan hospitals to help families in treatment and as they go home. Labor’s commitment will expand this to an additional nine regional and rural locations.
This is another part of Labor’s $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan – the most important investment in Medicare since it was created by Bob Hawke.
Our Medicare Cancer Plan will deliver cheaper cancer scans, cheaper cancer specialist consultations and cheaper cancer medicines.
If you need to see a specialist, the Medicare Cancer Plan will cover an additional 2,000 appointments a day – three million specialist consults with no out-of-pocket costs.
If you need a cancer scan – every MRI machine, in every postcode, will be eligible for Medicare.
If you need a CT scan, an X-Ray, a mammogram, a PET scan – this plan will cut the out-of-pocket costs and provide up to six million free scans and tests.
And today, we will provide targeted support to kids battling cancer across the country.
Labor is prioritising health, while the Liberals cut it. Scott Morrison has cut $3 billion from the pockets of patients with his Medicare freeze and $715 million from public hospitals – locking in further cuts until 2025.
Labor will reverse the Liberals’ cuts to health, address rising out-of-pocket costs, fund the best cancer care and provide the support Australians need during one of the toughest periods in their lives.
We will pay for it by making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.
Labor introduced Medicare, and we will always protect it.
SUNDAY, 7 APRIL 2019