Pathology investment link in cancer approach

Commitments by Labor to ease the burden on cancer patients by investing $200 million in pathology tests for older Australians and Australians with cancer if it wins Government at the next election have been welcomed by Australian Pathology, the national peak body representing private pathology in Australia.

Australian Pathology Chief Executive Officer, Liesel Wett, said the announcement that Labor would invest some $2.3 billion to cut out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients which includes the investment to protect bulk billing for pathology tests would be a great relief for patients during a very difficult and vulnerable time.

“This sort of approach to cancer treatment is long overdue and is something that patients have been seeking for a long time,” Ms Wett said.

“Building on Labor’s initiative through an investment in pathology services which are pivotal to the diagnosis of this disease is the missing link in cancer services.

“In fact, 100 per cent of all cancers are diagnosed by a pathologist in a pathology laboratory so investment in this sector would serve to reinforce and build on Labor’s announced commitment.

“It would provide further benefit for patients and complete the circle on investment in cancer health services.

“Australian Pathology welcomes this investment in pathology services because, after all, pathology is diagnosing the cancer in patients.”

Ms Wett stressed that in order to maintain bulk billing for older Australians and cancer patients that an investment such as this into pathology services would ensure patients continued to get their pathology tests for free.

“Sometimes pathology is the forgotten area in the health sector,” Ms Wett said.

“But if a patient has ever had a blood test, swab or biopsy, they’ve used the services of a pathologist.

“Pathology services are essential in the healthcare system, with 70 per cent of medical decisions and 100 per cent of cancer diagnoses relying on pathology tests.

“These services are essential in the management of most diseases, especially chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, hepatitis and HIV.

“Our members, who represent 95 per cent of the industry’s pathology services in Australia, are committed to the provision of high quality, affordable, safe and accessible pathology service to all Australians.

“Australian Pathology looks forward to working with all political parties to increase investment in Pathology tests to benefit all Australians.”

Liesel Wett

CEO, Australian Pathology

0414 434 581

Australian Pathology is the peak body representing private pathology in Au