Welcome commitment to reduce out-of-pocket cancer costs
Friday, 05 April 2019
The Leukaemia Foundation welcomes Federal Labor’s commitment to reducing out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients as part of a $2.3 billion funding package announced in last night’s Federal Budget reply.
The announcement includes funding to remove out-of-pocket costs associated with diagnostic imaging, bulk-billed Medicare items for oncologists and specialist surgeons, and a guarantee that every drug recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Council (PBAC) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to ensure affordable access to treatments for patients.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said that the wide-ranging suite of measures will have a positive impact on people living with blood cancer, which is one of the biggest causes of cancer death in Australia.
“Ensuring affordable and equitable access to the right diagnostics and treatments are important factors in reducing disparities in survival outcomes for people living with blood cancer across Australia.
“We know there are significant differences in treatment options and survival outcomes depending on where a person lives, so this announcement is welcome news to people living with blood cancer, particularly in regional areas and those who struggle to fund the significant out-of-pocket costs associated with cancer treatment.
“We stand ready to work in partnership with Government to ensure that Australians of all ages diagnosed with a blood cancer have affordable access to the innovative treatments and services they need – wherever they live.”
The Leukaemia Foundation provides practical and emotional support to Australians diagnosed with a blood cancer at no cost, thanks to the generosity of the community through our fundraising efforts. We invite all Australians living with a blood cancer, their families and carers to subscribe for ongoing information at www.leukaemia.org.au or call 1800 620 420.