Cancer outcomes in Australia are among the best in the world, but this is not the story for all Australians. There are significant disparities in cancer outcomes among specific groups in our society.
The Australian Cancer Plan (the Plan) is designed to improve cancer outcomes for all Australians, and particularly for those groups whose health outcomes are poorest. Achieving equity in cancer outcomes will be a fundamental measure of success for the Plan and will align Australia with global calls to improve cancer outcomes for all people.
The Plan has been developed through an extensive and rigorous process of stakeholder engagement, including through two public consultations, targeted engagements, two series of stakeholder workshops and a public webinar series. Feedback was received via more than 700 submissions and consultations, encompassing more than 400 groups and 300 individuals.
Inputs, considerations, advice and feedback from organisations and individuals across Australia and across the cancer control continuum have informed the Plan, setting the priorities for reform in cancer care for the next decade and beyond.
To succeed in improving cancer outcomes for all Australians, the implementation of the Plan is a shared responsibility and will require joint efforts from the entire cancer control sector.
The Plan acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health belongs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hands, and the critical role the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector plays in leading approaches to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Plan complements and embraces the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Plan developed by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and aims to foster genuine partnership and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities throughout implementation.
The Plan’s success is reliant on Aboriginal and Torres Strait leadership and collaborative action between mainstream cancer services and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners throughout the healthcare system, to address equity and embed culturally safe and responsive cancer care across the cancer continuum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Plan will support the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to enable Aboriginal and Torres Islander people and governments to work together to overcome the inequality experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and achieve life outcomes equal to all Australians.
It is our aim that the Plan resonates with every person affected by cancer and everyone engaged in the cancer sector in Australia.