The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
15 March 2022
Australians with blood cancer will receive improved treatment and care through new and continued funding from the Morrison Government, working in close partnership with the Leukaemia Foundation.
Blood cancers develop when blood cells aren’t made properly. In 2021, around 18,485 new cases of blood cancer were diagnosed in Australia and there were 5,789 deaths. The five-year survival rate for blood cancer is 69.7 per cent.
The Morrison Government acknowledges the significant impact blood cancer has on the Australian community, which is why we’re investing $995,000 to develop five new Optimal Care Pathways and a new set of clinical guidelines for a range of blood cancers.
This builds on the $750,000 provided in 2019-20 to the Leukaemia Foundation to develop and implement the National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancers, establish the Blood Cancer Taskforce, and complete the first tranche of six new Optimal Care Pathways.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Optimal Care Pathways and Australian‑specific clinical guidelines will provide health professionals and patients with the best information to diagnose, manage and treat blood cancer.
“This will set the standard of care that all Australians should expect to receive when they are diagnosed with blood cancer, regardless of who they are or where they live, or what stage their disease is at,” Minister Hunt said.
“We know that blood cancer has a significant impact on many Australians and their families, which is why the Morrison Government is committed to continued investment into cancer research, management and treatment, to improve patient outcomes.”
To date, the Coalition Government has invested significant funding into blood cancer research, management and treatment, including:
- $314 million in blood cancer research since 2013-14
- $30 million in clinical trials through the Medical Research Future Fund
- $900 million through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – with 34 medicines currently listed for blood cancer treatment.
- $80 million for treatment through the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
To complement the Government’s combined investment of more than $1.75 million, the Leukaemia Foundation is also providing more than $900,000 from its charitable resources for a collaborative research roadmap for blood cancer, and to promote better understanding of blood cancer within First Nations communities.
The Foundation’s investment will promote better understanding of the impact of blood cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – gaining a first ever, clear view of how blood cancer affects First Nations people to inform better, culturally sensitive care.
This funding announcement coincides with the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave campaign, which runs from 16-20 March. The campaign raises vital funds for families facing a blood cancer diagnosis and helps the Leukaemia Foundation’s goal of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035.
The Morrison Government and Leukaemia Foundation are working together to fund priority recommendations from the Leukaemia Foundation’s National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancers.
Through this partnership, the Government and the Leukaemia Foundation will enable the Blood Cancer Taskforce to focus on some of the most pressing, life-saving priorities for blood cancer from the Action Plan.
For more information on the Plan, visit – https://www.health.gov.au/news/new-strategic-action-plan-for-blood-cancers