Thursday, July 25, 2024

NSW Budget slap in the face for lung cancer patients

Lung Foundation Australia says it is “hugely disappointed” in yesterday’s NSW Government Budget announcement, which fails the state’s lung cancer community.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO, Mark Brooke said the NSW 2024/25 Budget was a slap in the face for thousands of lung cancer patients who “have been utterly ignored”.

“The NSW Government has ignored requests for lung cancer support; investing $17.6 million into breast cancer nurses and $0 into lung cancer nurses – yet the 5-year survivorship in NSW is 22% for lung cancer and 89 per cent for breast cancer,” Mr Brooke said.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in NSW, and accounts for almost one in ten of all cancer diagnoses.

“This begs the question from many lung cancer patients as to why they are not receiving the same gold standard of care so rightly afforded to breast cancer patients.”

Mr Brooke said Lung Foundation Australia has spent years listening to, and advocating on behalf of, the lung cancer community by requesting funding for investment in dedicated specialist lung cancer nurse roles. 

“Specialist lung cancer nurses provide an evidence-based and cost-effective means of supporting people through their lung cancer journey. The South Australian Government and the Queensland Government have invested in this vital program and have already noted significant benefit and outcomes for patients,” he said.

(Stock image).

Specialist lung cancer nurse programs have proven impacts including:

  • Reduced avoidable Emergency Department presentation
  • Improved cancer service alignment with optimal lung cancer care 
  • Improved value and quality of patient-centred lung cancer care 
  • Improved access to lung cancer treatment and timeliness of treatment
  • Increased receipt of anticancer therapy 
  • Strengthened patient capacity to self-manage 
  • Improved outcomes for patients and carers affected by lung cancer (cancer outcomes, quality of life and wellbeing) 

“Lung cancer is too often unfairly stigmatised. Everyone living with lung cancer should be given the same opportunities for support, quality of life, and survival that people with other cancers have.

“It’s a disgrace that those impacted by lung cancer in NSW continue to be so unfairly treated by their government. We need to see change now,” said Mr Brooke.

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