Labour promises millions for Australia's youngest cancer patients
Australia's youngest cancer victims are set to be $37.7 million better off if Labor wins next month's election.
Bill Shorten has vowed to target childhood cancer as part of his health cash splash with a multimillion-dollar package for kids to be unveiled on Sunday.
Each year about 1700 young Australians are diagnosed with cancer, with the disease claiming the lives of more children than any other.
The bulk of the money — more than $24 million — will go to CanTeen, an organisation that supports Australians aged 12 to 24 with their cancer diagnosis or those who have a family member with cancer.
Labor will also create a $20 million Children’s Cancer Endowment Fund, with a $10 million commitment to be matched by the Children’s Cancer Foundation, to fund research projects in children’s cancer.
Almost $4 million will also be given to the charity Camp Quality, which supports children under the age of 13 growing up with cancer.
Children being treated for cancer often spend between six and 12 months in hospital.
Camp Quality offers support services to children and their families through seven hospitals partnerships.
If elected, Labor will expand the charity’s network to an additional nine regional and rural locations.
Today’s cancer commitment is part of the Opposition’s $2.3 billion cancer plan, announced on Thursday, which will also cover the cost of six million free cancer scans and three million free specialist appointments in Labor’s first four years in office.
It is estimated one in two Australians will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lives.
Mr Shorten said navigating a cancer diagnosis was particularly daunting for children and their families.
“Children and families who are battling this insidious disease deserve the best possible care and support,” Mr Shorten said. “We will provide targeted support to kids battling cancer across the country.”