Media Release

20 November 2018

Fitzherbert: Liberal Nationals to introduce skin cancer check program

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Liberal Nationals to introduce skin cancer check program

An elected Liberal Nationals government will partner with the Lions Clubs Districts of Victoria to provide mobile skin cancer checks in Victoria.

This will be Victoria’s first ongoing and state-wide program, and is backed by $1 million in funding to purchase and fit out a special purpose van and provide start-up costs. The funding will also include a marketing campaign that raises awareness of skin cancer and the need to be checked frequently.

The checks will be conducted in the special purpose van that has been reconfigured to include cubicles and screening equipment.

Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world, and the disease accounts for over 80% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in Australia each year. Approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are aged 70, and it is one of the most common cancers for people aged in their 20s and 30s.

Despite this, there is currently no state-wide, public program in Victoria to identify skin cancer. This means patients can pay upwards of $150 for attending a private clinic.

Since 1990, Lions Clubs in Western Australia have operated a mobile skin cancer check service, which has expanded to South Australia and New Zealand. To date, there have been 75,000 skin cancer checks. Of these, 20,250 were referred to GPs and 1,215 lesions were identified as being potentially life threatening.

Lions Clubs have operated a van in Victoria on a trial basis. Now we will help them establish a permanent service in Victoria.

The Liberal Nationals are committed to decentralising Victoria and encouraging growth in our regional areas, but to do that we must provide adequate health care to all Victorians.

Having a mobile skin cancer check clinic will mean more people outside major towns have access to the health care they need.

Comment from Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Margaret Fitzherbert:

This time four years ago, Donna and I were both fighting cancer – we both know how important it is to catch this deadly disease early.

Right now, sadly too many people find out they have skin cancer when it is already well advanced.

Comment from Liberal candidate for Carrum, Donna Bauer:

Having a mobile service means that we can reach people throughout Victoria, including those who live well outside Melbourne, and save lives.

The Lions van has meant people have been checked, and found to have skin cancers, in some of the remotest parts of Western Australia – we want to bring this service to people throughout Victoria.

Comment from Steering committee chairman, Lions Clubs Districts of Victoria, Bruce Hudgson:

“We are delighted to have support such as this for the project. It is much needed and Lions Clubs of Victoria and Southern New South Wales are committed to make this a reality in the near term.”