Dialog Box

The Rights and Roles of Australian Cancer Patients Report

For too long, ‘patient-centricity’ and ‘person centred care’ have merely been notional concepts that have not been reflected in the reality of patients’ lived experience.

By continually hiding behind these terms and the illusion of action they provide, we will continue to overlook the human beings behind the label of ‘patients’; the very people our health system exists to serve.

Now is the time to act; to face these moral and ethical questions and start answering them. To decide what cancer patients, deserve from our health system; from all of us as a society. What role they should – and are entitled to – take in their own care. And what needs to change to start truly valuing their lived experience in a real and tangible way.

With input from more than one thousand patients and carers – along with patient advocates, clinicians, and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and patient organisations – this report aims to better understand the scale of the challenge we face in delivering the best person-centred care for Australian cancer patients. It explores how patients can be at the centre of their own care, well supported throughout their cancer journey, and have roles to inform healthcare decision making at the broader systems level. This will ensure that ‘patient-centricity’ or ‘person-centred-care’ is not just a catch phrase but a lived reality.

We owe it to the cancer patients of today and tomorrow to act now. Their lives depend on it.

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