Rare Cancers Australia welcomes the recommendations made last week by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into the Inquiry on the Availability and Accessibility of Diagnostic Imaging Equipment around Australia.
Diagnostic imaging is a critical part of the cancer journey, with late or inaccurate diagnosis contributing to poorer outcomes for patients, and a greater cost burden on the healthcare system. Our submission to the inquiry, with contributions from our supporters and rare cancer community, focussed on geographical and financial inequities, asserting that "timely access to diagnostic imaging should not be determined by someone’s bank balance or postcode."
We also highlighted the need for greater subsidisation for alternative, yet still effective, diagnostic imaging where radiation emitting imaging is deemed unsafe or unsuitable. A link to our full submission the Committee is below.
We were disappointed that the terms of reference did not fully address genomic technology as it relates to diagnostic imaging. Screening for those with high genetic cancer risk has been proven effective at improving outcomes for patients and the cost on the health system, and should therefore be seen as a benefit rather than a cost. Although the committee was unable to make recommendations with regard to this critical area, we urge policymakers to review the health system’s ability to harness genomic technology in screening.
Finally, RCA would like to thank Prof. David Thomas at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research for his contribution to our submission, and also the committee members for their work on the recommendations, including Rachel Siewert, Slade Brockman, Jonathon Duniam, Kristina Keneally, Louise Pratt, Murray Watt.