'The $2.3 billion investment pledged by Labor to address out-of-pocket costs for people with cancer is a much-needed response to the significant costs many people are confronted with when they are diagnosed with cancer', says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.
'Too many Australians have experienced significant financial difficulty and unexpected costs as they seek treatment for cancer.
'We are a country which prides itself in our research capabilities, and a strong health system, but when treatments and tests are unaffordable, those strengths provide little comfort.
'Medicare has served Australians well for 35 years, but out-of-pocket costs are growing significantly, causing increasing inequity and hardship for too many seriously ill people.
'While the Coalition's review of the MBS and efforts to improve transparency about the costs of care have been welcome initiatives, the bold investment in cancer care pledged by the Opposition Leader in his Budget reply speech is a real game-changer which will potentially benefit the many Australians who are diagnosed with cancer.
'If this investment goes ahead, we must ensure it is aimed at achieving real value for patients"and does not generate unnecessary and low value care.
'As renowned breast cancer surgeon and commentator Professor Christobel Saunders, AO, says in the April 2019 edition of the Australian Health Review (AHR), the time to implement value-based healthcare"patient outcomes divided by the cost of achieving those outcomes"is now.
'Labor must take the lead on this if it wins government and has the opportunity to implement this pledge', says Ms Verhoeven.
More information about the AHHA is available at ahha.asn.au.
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, Primary Health Networks, and community and primary healthcare services.