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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 1993) . . Page.. 2445 ..


CANCER REGISTRY

Debate resumed from 19 May 1993, on motion by Mrs Carnell:

That this Assembly urge the Government to act as a matter of urgency to establish an Independent Cancer Registry and that such a registry -

(1)          be used to facilitate the compilation of accurate and complete records;

(2)          to provide the data to facilitate the accumulation of information on trends;

(3)          establish a basis for the provision of cancer related health and support services;

(4)          enable the monitoring of community cancer prevention measures;

(5)          provide data for epidemiological research on the causes of cancer and yield information to enhance cancer education among the public; and

(6)          enable accurate forward planning with regard to health services requirements in the area of cancer.

MRS GRASSBY (11.48): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, anyone would think the Leader of the Opposition had discovered a cure for cancer. It would be very good if she had. It is called a cancer register. As the Minister said in May, a lot can be and is being done in the ACT to reduce the impact and incidence of cancer. We all know that cancer attacks mostly the aged, although many young people get cancer, and therefore with the ageing of the population we are possibly going to see more and more people with it. Cancer is a very large cause of deaths. Cancer as a proportion of all causes of death will increase, for example, as a result of reductions of cardiovascular disease mortality.

While recognising the importance of the issue, it is wrong to scaremonger about increasing cancer incidence, particularly in light of the Government's obvious commitment to high-quality prevention and treatment services. But there are no quick fixes, and we all know that. It is misleading for the Leader of the Opposition to suggest that the ACT's health is suffering for want of a register. I take the points in her motion in turn. We have good data. Cause of death data, hospital morbidity data, reports from pathologists and self-reported information from the national health surveys will all be used to examine the trends, the prevalence of various types of cancer and high risk groups within the population. These combined data sources should provide the breadth of information needed to monitor not only cancer but also other disease profiles.


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