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05 Sep 2019

A national taskforce has been established and a national action plan commissioned to improve diagnosis, treatment and the understanding of blood cancers.

The Federal Government will provide $150,000 to the Leukaemia Foundation to support the development of the National Action Plan.

The Blood Cancer Taskforce will be co-chaired by Bill Petch, CEO, Leukaemia Foundation and Professor John Seymour AM, Director of Cancer Medicine and Haematology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

The Taskforce will work with leading clinicians, Cancer Australia, researchers, industry and patient groups in the blood cancer community to recommend actions across the cancer control continuum that will reduce mortality from, and improve outcomes for people with blood cancer.

“In 2019, more than 12,000 Australians will be diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

“Survivors can face lifelong side effects so we must find ways to ease the burden on adults, children, their families and the wider community.

“This action plan will concentrate our collective efforts to drive better health outcomes and improve survival for all Australians diagnosed with blood cancer.

It will develop a comprehensive blueprint for action and provide its advice and recommendations to the Government.”

The Taskforce’s work will include: 

  • providing advice to the Government on the state of blood cancer in Australia, including variations in health service delivery and survival outcomes in urban and regional areas;
  • reviewing domestic and international evidence and experience, including a stocktake of current practice, programs and initiatives, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; and

ensuring the action plan reflects the outcomes of a comprehensive consultation process and identifies best practice, evidence-based recommendations that can

be implemented across the sector by governments and non-government organisations.



Published: 05 Sep 2019