Care network to take the collective fight to cancer

A new network linking cancer services across the nation will aim to improve outcomes and experiences for all Australians affected by the disease.

The Australian Comprehensive Cancer Network is a pioneering initiative that aims to address significant disparities in cancer outcomes for some, particularly those in rural and remote regions, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Launched on Tuesday, it will focus on coordinated and equitable access to comprehensive cancer services, irrespective of where a person lives.

Cancer Australia chief executive Dorothy Keefe says the network is an essential stage in working towards the goal of improving cancer outcomes and experiences.

“To achieve world-class cancer outcomes for all Australians and realise the ambition of the Australian Cancer Plan, we need collective action from all sectors of health care to address issues that contribute to variation in cancer outcomes and experience,” Professor Keefe said.

Comprehensive Cancer Centres will serve as network anchors, connecting various cancer control services nationwide.

Through building partnerships and harnessing virtual connectivity, the centres will collaborate with other cancer care centres, academic institutions, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, regional hospitals and allied health services, among others.

Participation in the network is voluntary, with services committing to a set of standards focusing on comprehensive cancer care, equitable access, research excellence, data collection, workforce development, and network connectivity.

It will complement existing networks and alliances within the cancer care landscape, fostering collaboration and maximising resources.

The network was announced at the ACCN Innovations Showcase, a conference in Sydney organised by Cancer Australia to highlight and discuss topics including best practice and the standards of excellence for networked comprehensive cancer care.

Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said the network was a crucial step forward in ensuring that every Australian, regardless of their background or location, received the best possible cancer care.

“By linking services, fostering collaboration and sharing expertise, the ACCN aims to address existing disparities in cancer outcomes, particularly among rural and Indigenous populations,” Mr Butler said.

“All services and professionals involved in cancer care are encouraged to join the ACCN and contribute to this transformative initiative.”


Abe Maddison
(Australian Associated Press)


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