Progress on Cancer Register Bills welcomed

Pathology Australia today welcomed the work of Parliament with the tabling of the National Cancer Screening Register bills in the Senate with amendments to ensure the privacy of patients listed on the Register being actioned.

The Government has introduced the amendments as part of its commitment to strengthening the register and ensuring patients’ information is protected and secure. This is a direct result of the Senate inquiry initiated by the Community Affairs Legislation Committee.

Liesel Wett, CEO of Pathology Australia, said today that the amendments are definite improvements and will help to ensure progress on the implementation of this important register.

“The Government has acted swiftly to address some concerns which were raised over the security of data and personal information,” Ms Wett said.

“Pathology Australia is a strong supporter of the National Cancer Screening Register and the Government’s prompt action in addressing these concerns is a sign of commitment to the register.

“This register will help to save the lives of many Australians by facilitating the increased detection, treatment and prevention of some of the country’s biggest killers.

“It is an important cancer prevention measure and every effort should be made to ensure it is implemented without delay.”

Ms Wett said the Senate inquiry examining the issue had also recommended that the Bills to establish the register be passed.

Pathology Australia see the register as a significant and important public health initiative, and have consistently urged the Parliament to ensure there is no delay to the implementation of the changes to women’s health screening in this country.

“The critical role pathologists play in diagnosing and detecting cancer is pivotal to the register’s success,” Ms Wett said.

“Pathologists are an essential part of the overall process involved in managing cancer and the register will reflect this by monitoring the effectiveness, quality and safety of screening and diagnoses associated with bowel cancer and cervical cancer. We need to stick to implementation timelines for this significant and exciting new treatment of Cancer screening.”

The new register will replace eight separate State and Territory cervical cancer registers and the current bowel screening system.

“Centralising these registers makes sense and will increase efficiency as well as helping to better co-ordinate treatment,” she said.

“A centralised cervical cancer and bowel screening register can only further improve the rates of early detection. This will further cement Australia’s position as a world leader in pathology services assisting in the early detection of cancers and helping to save more lives.”