Fed budget cancer screening commitment welcomed by CCA

15 May, 2014

At least 35,000 Australian bowel cancer deaths will be prevented thanks to a $95.9 million, four-year plan to finalise Australia's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in the 2014-15 budget, according to Cancer Council Australia (CCA).

CCA's CEO, Professor Ian Olver, applauded the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, for committing to the completion of the program, which was introduced 10 federal budgets ago.

"Bowel cancer is the second-largest cause of cancer death in Australia, yet most cases can be cured if detected early," Professor Olver said.

"Our research shows the government's commitment to bring the program's full implementation date forward by 14 years will prevent at least 35,000 bowel cancer deaths over the next forty years.

"By filling in additional gaps in the bowel cancer screening program from July next year, the benefit in lives saved will be maximised while full roll-out occurs."

Professor Olver also commended the government for its unprecedented commitment to medical research investment through its proposed $20 billion futures fund.

"Minister Dutton was always adamant that the government would be guided by the evidence when it came to major investments in cancer care," he said.

"We are seeing that … with the $95.9 million for bowel cancer screening.

"Importantly, the new funding shows the government's preparedness to invest in programs that will realise their full health and economic potential over the longer term.

"We look forward to working closely with the government on its research program to help ensure that future investments are also based on the best available evidence.

"The renewed commitment to medical research should put the government in a position to collect and disseminate independent evidence to address the changing needs of an ageing population and challenges such as obesity."