Health Minister Roger Cook has released Western Australia’s new cancer plan on World Cancer Day. The WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 is a blueprint for action over the next five years to provide the best possible cancer services for Western Australians.
It includes objectives to establish a central system to capture, manage and share cancer data across WA hospitals, planned improvements to the delivery of cancer care throughout the State and the development of genomic testing for Western Australians.
WA’s new cancer plan builds on the McGowan Government’s commitment to establish a long-term strategy for cancer research and includes improved access to clinical trials and evidence-based research for patients. The establishment by the McGowan Government of a Future Health Research and Innovation Fund will dramatically change this landscape by providing secure long-term funding for research.
A recent study published in The Lancet Oncology found Western Australia’s cancer survival rates were among the best in the world. WA beat two other Australian jurisdictions (New South Wales and Victoria) to record the highest five-year survival rates for ovarian, colon, pancreatic and stomach cancer. Australia was found to have outperformed all countries in survival rates for five of the seven tracked cancers; oesophageal, stomach, colon, rectal and pancreatic.
The number of Western Australian cancer patients who live five years after diagnosis is up from 52 per cent (30 years ago), to 71 per cent in 2017.
Despite this progress, cancer remains a significant burden for Western Australians especially for Aboriginal people and those living in rural and remote locations. There are more than 158,000 cancer-related hospital admissions throughout WA every year, making up 14.4 per cent of the State’s total hospitalisations.
Cancer, particularly amongst our ageing population, places an increased demand on palliative care services. The McGowan Government have responded with a record $224 million investment in State-wide palliative care services.
A copy of the WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 is available online at https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Reports-and-publications/WA-Cancer-Plan
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“A cancer diagnosis has lasting implications for individuals, families and communities – as well as a significant impact on our health system.
“In developing this new WA Cancer Plan, we’ve consulted extensively with health professionals working in the cancer and research sector, the community and, most importantly, people affected by cancer.
“It recognises that WA must extend cancer care beyond hospitals and that care must be designed in partnership with Western Australians.
“We are looking to create a well co-ordinated, high-standard, consumer-focused cancer care system which includes prevention, screening, early detection, treatment, survivorship, palliative and supportive care and research.”