Labor’s Breast Screening funding furore

Breast screening in Victoria has alarmingly been cut by Labor leading to thousands of women missing out on their vital preventative screening service.

Through the Parliamentary Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) it was revealed The Andrews Government will only fund 20,000 breast screens, leaving 29,000 Victorian women without access to the service.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said funding cuts to preventative health pre-covid followed by pandemic restrictions and lockdowns saw 49,000 Victorian women miss out on their vital breast screening service.

Ms Bath said it is imperative Labor’s cuts to breast screening services are reversed so all women who require a breast screen can access one.

“We know that preventative health is vitally important when it comes to early diagnosis and maximising the success of treatment, taking the pressure off families and our health system.

“Access to health care in regional communities is difficult enough without the Andrews Government restricting funding to the most common cancer affecting Victorian women.”

Approximately 17,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Australia and breast screening is recognised as the best way to detect the formation of cancer early before it can be seen or felt.

Ms Bath said organisations like BreastScreen, the Australian Cancer Council and Jane McGrath Foundation have spent many decades educating women on the importance of breast screening.

“It is widely accepted most breast cancers can be successful treated, requiring less invasive medical intervention if detected early,” said Ms Bath.

“Cutting the funding to Victoria’s Health Protection services is false economy and flies in the face of the Andrews Government rhetoric around coronavirus which centres around saving lives.”

Ms Bath said a petition calling for funding to meet the 29,000 breast screening shortfall has been launched by The Nationals and Liberals.

“Victorians who want to lodge their support are encourage to sign the petition and add their voice to the campaign to see Labor reverse its decision to cut women’s health funding.”

Visit to sign the breast screen petition at https://www.melinabath.com.au/category/petitions/