Health

Towards zero lives lost due to blood cancer

The Leukemia Foundation welcomed the release by the Australian government of the National Blood Cancer Strategic Action Plan – a report to unite Australia towards the goal of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035 .

Developed by the Blood Cancer Task Force in partnership with the wider blood cancer community, the plan provides an evidence-based plan that sets the national agenda to cure and end blood cancers.

The plan forms a roadmap for achieving the vision of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035, supported by zero preventable deaths regardless of geography or origin, through equitable access to best practices in treatment and care for all Australians.

The plan’s release comes a year after Health Minister Greg Hunt established the Blood Cancer Task Force and commissioned the unique collaboration of 29 of the nation’s top blood cancer experts, patients and leaders develop an agenda for change. The move was sparked by the release of the Leukemia Foundation’s State of the Nation: Blood Cancer in Australia report – a comprehensive, evidence-based report that identified blood cancer to be more important and prevalent than ever.

The launch of the national action plan includes funding from the federal government to continue the work of the task force in the future and re-launch the implementation of measures under the plan.

Leukemia Foundation Acting CEO Alex Struthers said the importance of the announcement to Australians with blood cancer cannot be overstated.

“Today, together, we are turning the tide on blood cancer in this country,” she said.

“The release of the National Action Plan backed by Federal Government support marks a paradigm shift to change the face of treatment and survival outcomes for all Australians facing blood cancer.

“We applaud the federal government for bringing the growing issue of blood cancer to the national agenda. This is a vital time that will lead to significant and positive change for people across the country living with this disease for generations to come.

“We are delighted to continue as a lead organization to support the working group in its work to implement the recommendations of the national action plan.

“For the past 45 years, the Leukemia Foundation has supported and advocated for people living with blood cancer, standing alongside every Australian affected by this disease to be their voice and their interlocutor and fight to give access to the best treatment, care and support, ”she said.

“With the release of the State of the Nation report last year, we began to usher in a new era of change for the national blood cancer community and, united with this community, we have worked hard ever since to create momentum for targeted national action. cure and conquer blood cancers, that is what we are seeing today. “

Struthers said that while Australia has strong health systems across the country, which are showing remarkable results in improving survival rates and treatment for blood cancer, there is still work to be done to improve the ‘access to treatment and supportive care.

“The Leukemia Foundation wants to ensure that all Australians living with blood cancer have the same access to the best treatment, services and care, at the right time, no matter where they live. Breaking down these barriers is our priority, ”she said.

“We hope that the implementation of the National Action Plan will unite the Australian blood cancer community and governments to close the gaps in treatment and care, and ultimately achieve what is now a shared vision of seeing zero lives lost due to blood cancer by 2035. “

The National Strategic Action Plan identifies four main priorities to improve outcomes for people with blood cancer and their families:

  • achieve best practices;
  • empower patients and their families;
  • speed up research; and
  • allow access to new and specialized therapies.

“The national action plan shows us that through coordinated and strategic collaboration between patients, patient organizations, clinicians, researchers, industry and government, we could see better access to treatments and nationwide evidence-based care, which will improve survival rates of living Australians. with blood cancer, ”Struthers said.

“The Leukemia Foundation celebrates the National Plan of Action as an exciting opportunity to transform blood cancer treatment and care. We look forward to joining the broader blood cancer community to support its implementation and ultimately save and improve thousands of Australian lives today and in the future.

Image caption: Alex Struthers, Interim CEO of the Leukemia Foundation.

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