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
LABOR WILL STEP UP THE FIGHT AGAINST SMOKING
A Shorten Labor Government will launch the most significant push to cut Australia’s smoking rates since the introduction of plain packaging, with a $63.4 million investment in driving down rates of lung cancer and introducing the next National Tobacco Campaign.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia.
Australia has been a world-leader in reducing smoking rates – but the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has failed to invest in continuing this work and progress has slowed.
Between 2013 and 2016 the proportion of daily smokers plateaued at 12.2 per cent.
That’s why Labor will reintroduce and re-energise Australia’s landmark National Tobacco Campaign and support Australians with lung cancer, including:
- $40 million to reboot Australia’s landmark National Tobacco Campaign – Anti-smoking campaigns are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking rates and prevent smoking related deaths, however the Morrison Government has failed to deliver any public campaigns. Labor will provide $40 million over four years to reintroduce the National Tobacco Campaign and drive down Australia’s smoking rate to below 10 per cent, with funding allocated in specific bursts to maximise impact. Based on an evaluation of the first National Tobacco Campaign run in 1997, this investment could prevent as many as 55,000 deaths and deliver as much as $740 million in direct healthcare savings.
- Support for efforts to make Australia’s finance sector ‘tobacco-free’ – Labor will provide $6 million over three years to support Tobacco Free Portfolios’ work in eliminating tobacco from investment portfolios, so that people aren’t unknowingly contributing to tobacco profits via their superannuation and pension funds.
- More nurses to support Australians with lung cancer – Labor will invest $15 million to help the Lung Foundation rollout an additional 20 lung cancer nurses around the country. It’s estimated there are currently only seven lung cancer nurses supporting around 3,610 patients when there will be 160,000 Australians treated for advanced lung cancer over the next 10 years; and
- Boost lung awareness, early cancer detection and drive awareness of work hazards connected with lung cancer – Labor will provide $2.4 million over three years to the Lung Foundation Australia to roll out campaigns aimed to increase awareness of lung cancer symptoms and encourage people to see a doctor sooner – and to address stigma, especially because so many lung cancers are amongst people with no history of smoking. The Lung Foundation will also develop a campaign to raise awareness of workplace hazards that can cause lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the country, with the lowest five-year relative survival rate when compared to the other top five most commonly diagnosed cancers.
More than 12,800 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and sadly approximately 9,700 will die.
Today’s investment is part of Labor’s $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan – a plan to make sure it is your Medicare card, not your credit card, that determines your access to health care.
Our Medicare Cancer Plan will deliver cheaper cancer scans, cheaper cancer specialist consultations and cheaper cancer medicines.
The Medicare Cancer Plan will cover an additional 2,000 specialist consultations a day – with no out-of-pocket costs.
For people who need a cancer scan – every MRI machine, in every postcode, will be eligible for Medicare.
For CT scans, X-Rays, mammograms, PET scans – this plan will cut out-of-pocket costs and provide up to six million free scans.
We will invest $300 million in building and upgrading cancer treatment facilities and $500 million to get people off waiting lists and getting the cancer treatment they need in public hospitals.
We can pay for our Plan because we are making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.
We’re prioritising health and hospitals, making sure Australians have access to the best medicines and care, because we’d rather have the world’s best health system not the world’s best tax loopholes.
Labor will invest in cancer care, we’ll fight for Medicare and we will always make sure it is your Medicare card, not your credit card that determines access to health.
WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL 2019