World Health Day

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

THIS Satur­day is World Health Day (April 7) – a time to raise aware­ness about health in­equal­i­ties across the globe, and right here in Queens­land.

This year the theme for the ini­tia­tive, driven by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, is Uni­ver­sal Health Cov­er­age: ev­ery­one, ev­ery­where.

All UN Mem­ber States have agreed to try to achieve uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age by 2030, en­sur­ing that all in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties re­ceive the health ser­vices they need with­out suf­fer­ing fi­nan­cial hard­ship.

En­sur­ing that ev­ery­one has ac­cess to health ser­vices no mat­ter where they live, or what their eco­nomic sta­tus is, is a key part of our mis­sion at Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land.

We know that can­cer, like many chronic dis­eases, can have a se­vere fi­nan­cial im­pact on in­di­vid­u­als or fam­i­lies af­fected.

Our re­search shows that up to two thirds of pa­tients strug­gle to meet the out-of-pocket costs as­so­ci­ated with a can­cer di­ag­no­sis, with oth­ers de­terred from seek­ing treat­ment if they can’t af­ford it.

The fi­nan­cial im­pact of a di­ag­no­sis in­creases with re­mote­ness, with pa­tients liv­ing ru­rally or re­gion­ally of­ten need­ing to meet ad­di­tional travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs.

One in two peo­ple will re­ceive a can­cer di­ag­no­sis in their life­time – we need to en­sure that those peo­ple don’t

have to suf­fer se­vere fi­nan­cial hard­ship as a re­sult of their di­ag­no­sis.

At Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land we of­fer a range of prac­ti­cal sup­port ser­vices to as­sist pa­tients, in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion for re­gional pa­tients trav­el­ling for treat­ment, but the need con­tin­ues to grow.

This World Health Day we pledge to con­tinue in­vest­ing in re­search and pro­grams that will re­duce the bur­den of can­cer and en­sure that ev­ery­one, ev­ery­where can ac­cess ad­e­quate health ser­vices – with­out the

fi­nan­cial stress.

If you have been di­ag­nosed with can­cer and need sup­port, please get in touch via 13 11 20, Mon­day to Fri­day (9am to 5pm).

— Chris McMil­lan, CEO Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land

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