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Government TAS, Medical Health Aged Care

Election commitments fall short to fix lack of access to public diagnostic mammography in Tasmania

Breast Cancer Network Australia 2 mins read

20/03/2024

Less than a week before the Tasmanian state election, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) holds significant concerns that election promises from Liberal and Labor will not adequately address the lack of public diagnostic mammography that Tasmanian women face today.

 

Almost a month ago, BCNA – Australia's leading voice for Australians affected by breast cancer – released an open letter calling for urgent commitments to address the problem.

 

The letter called on all candidates contesting the 2024 state election to commit to short and long-term solutions so that women who present to their GP with symptoms of breast cancer can have a timely diagnostic mammogram without incurring out-of-pocket costs or having to travel interstate.

 

Australia's Optimal Care Pathway for Breast Cancer states that diagnostic tests should be completed within two weeks of presenting to a GP.

 

BCNA Director of Policy, Advocacy and Support Services, Vicki Durston, says any delay to a breast cancer diagnosis risks the breast cancer progressing – or even metastasising.

 

"Access to this service in the public system is a basic health care right – because breast cancer does not wait," she said.

 

BCNA also travelled to Hobart the same week to meet with politicians on all sides to voice its concerns.

 

While welcoming the recent commitments from both parties, Ms. Durston said BCNA had written again this week to both Liberal and Labor with concerns that their election commitments fall short.  

 

BCNA's concerns relating to the Liberal Party's commitment include that the $3.2 million allocated to the ongoing operational costs of the service is far from sufficient.

 

We have also yet to see any short-term solutions, including emergency travel subsidies and looking to a remote workforce.

 

BCNA's concerns relating to the Labor Party's commitment include emergency travel subsidies and public-private partnerships that have no funding commitment attached to them.

 

There was also no commitment to the longer-term need for ongoing operational costs of the service.

 

"For six years, we have been highlighting the significant and consequential delays in diagnosing symptomatic women with breast cancer due to the lack of public imaging services across the state. It is time for stronger leadership on this issue," Ms Durston said.  

 

"BCNA is ready and willing to work with the incoming government to restore these basic health care rights for Tasmanian women."

 

 

 

Read the Open Letter  - breast-cancer-cannot-wait_bcna-open-letter.pdf 

 

 

 


About us:

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is Australia’s leading breast cancer consumer organisation. BCNA provides information and support to those diagnosed and their supporters, opportunities to connect with others going through a similar situation and work to influence a stronger healthcare system to ensure all Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support.


Contact details:

Anna Malbon 

Communications Specialist  

0498 999 477  

amalbon@bcna.org.au

 

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