CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LEICHHARDT
LABOR WILL DELIVER BETTER METASTATIC AND LUNG CANCER CARE TO CAIRNS
Cairns residents would benefit from improved cancer care under a Shorten Labor Government, with new metastatic and lung cancer nurses to be based in the city.
One of 24 new metastatic cancer nurses to be funded under a Shorten Labor Government will be based in Cairns, boosting care and support for locals who face this awful diagnosis.
Additionally, Cairns locals will be able to access a new lung cancer nurse at Cairns Base Hospital – as recommended by the Lung Foundation.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, with the lowest five-year survival rate when compared to the most common cancers.
More than 12,800 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and sadly approximately 9,700 will die.
One in five of these people have never smoked, and another two in five quit smoking years, or sometimes decades, ago.
Instead of facing stigma and discrimination, all Australians with lung cancer deserve the best possible care and support.
That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will invest $15 million to quadruple the current number of lung cancer nurses in Australia by rolling out an additional 20 lung cancer nurses around the country – including one in Cairns.
Labor’s plan for better cancer care in Cairns will also deliver support to those diagnosed with metastatic cancer.
Metastatic cancer is a heartbreaking diagnosis, marking the stage at which the disease spreads beyond a primary tumour site to other parts of the body – such as breast cancer that has spread to the bones, liver or lungs. It is incurable.
Surveys by Breast Cancer Network Australia and other groups have shown that people with metastatic cancer and their families face unique challenges and need particular services and supports.
That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will fund 24 metastatic cancer nurses around Australia – including one in Cairns.
Cairns Hospital’s Liz Plummer Cancer Centre has been identified as one of the first 24 hospitals that will host a metastatic cancer nurse – meaning locals will benefit from Labor’s investment from mid-2020.
Labor will work with cancer groups and patients to develop the new metastatic cancer nurse program, building on the success of existing cancer nurse programs – but expanding support beyond particular tumour streams.
The nurses will work with patients and families to help navigate the complex health system and provide psychological support.
Labor’s program will have a particular focus on regional areas, to help bridge the gap with the major cities when it comes to cancer care and outcomes.
People in Cairns and their families deserve the best possible care and support when they are diagnosed with cancer.
The placement of a metastatic cancer nurse at the Liz Plummer Cancer Centre and a lung cancer nurse at the Cairns Base Hospital will help provide some comfort to locals who face these challenges.
Today’s announcements in Cairns are another part of Labor’s $2.3 billion Medicare Cancer Plan.
Our plan includes cheaper scans, cheaper specialist consultations, cheaper medicines – and better support for people with metastatic cancer.
The Medicare Cancer Plan will cover an additional 2,000 appointments a day – three million specialist consultations with no out-of-pocket costs.
Every MRI machine, in every postcode, will be eligible for Medicare cancer scans.
And out-of-pocket costs for CT scans, x-rays, mammograms and PET scans will be slashed, with up to six million free scans.
When the LNP cut $7.2 million to the Cairns Hospital, Warren Entsch did nothing. He has backed in every single LNP cut to Far North Queensland hospitals and health services.
There is a clear choice this election, between Labor’s plan to properly fund our hospitals, and the LNP’s cuts.
Only Labor will reverse the Liberals’ cuts to health, address rising out-of-pocket costs, and fund the best care and support for Australians with cancer – including in Cairns.
MONDAY, 6 MAY 2019