2020-2023 have been three of the toughest years experienced by those on the front line of healthcare and emergency services and those working to bring us cutting edge medicines, vaccines and to protect our patients against world-wide medicine shortages.

For Australians with cancer and for those who may have delayed in seeking a diagnosis of their disease, it’s been an incredibly stressful and worrying time.

But as we emerge from this global health and economic pandemic, we look once again to the bright future of cancer care.

Private Cancer Physicians of Australia has long been a high impact peak body that advocates for cancer patients, the medical and radiation oncologists and haematologists who care for them and the private healthcare system we all must navigate and ensure remains robust and resilient.

Together with our patient advocacy groups and other cancer doctors and clinical trial colleagues, we lead the engagement with the nation’s decision-makers and opinion formers to ensure they prioritise the needs of Australians living with cancer. Recent examples of our work include:

  • Our consistent advocacy with Rare Cancers Australia, led to Cancer Australia adopting our recommendation for experienced (nurse) navigators for all cancer patients. This was a central plank of  the National Cancer Plan delivered to the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP
  • Now the Australian Government has committed an unprecedented investment in cancer care. With a vision to provide comprehensive support for cancer patients navigating the complexities of the healthcare system, the government has committed $166 million for the Australian Cancer Nursing and Navigation Program. This initiative aims to address the multifaceted needs of individuals grappling with a cancer diagnosis, ensuring they receive tailored care and support throughout their arduous journey
  • Leading the advocacy to delay the discontinuation of gold standard medicine for brain cancer patients, Lomustine (CeeNU). This has been delayed by 18 months whilst PCPA helps connect the neuro-oncologists and their patients with a reliable supplier
  • Seeking (and being granted) an extension of six months for Telehealth for patients needing phone consults with their specialists
  • Leading the advocacy against a recommendation in the Draft Telehealth Post Market Review that, if implemented would penalise cancer patients who are elderly, disabled, disadvantaged and who live in rural and remote communities or do not have the ability to travel long distanced. This recommendation mandated the patient’s first consult with a specialist must be face-to-face
  • Successfully ring-fencing cancer patients – and their chemotherapy treatments – from the proposed Special Pricing Arrangement (SPA) reforms
  • Extending MBS to subcutaneous chemotherapy treatments
  • Achieving all of our key objectives for cancer patients out of the long-running MBS review
  • Expanding access to key oncology medicines.