Decision Maker

Greg Hunt MP

  • Minister for Health and Sport

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Petitioning Brad Hazzard, Gladys Berejiklian, Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt MP

Health Minister: our baby girl is dying in front of us - please help

I don’t want to break the law, but I don’t want to bury my eight-year-old child. I am left with no options - my 8 year old daughter Sienna suffers up to 100 epileptic seizures per day, each one life-threatening. I’m writing this out of desperation. Last night I spent the evening watching my little girl gasping for air, unable to breath, another night of thinking I was about to lose her. We’ve been through 5 specialist doctors unable to help her. Right now she’s on 8 different medications and still experiencing over 100 seizures per day. I’m beside myself. Doctors say they’ve tried everything - the only option left is medicinal cannabis or her the seizures will continue to cause irreparable damage to her brain and organs. But despite it being legalised last year, red tape is leaving Sienna’s doctors unable to fast track her lifesaving access to medicinal cannabis. She’s left with the only option of joining a long list of kids waiting to get onto clinical trials. I have had to watch her cognitive ability decline, going from an IQ of 90-100 to a range from 41-52. She has been diagnosed with a severe intellectual disability. Now every seizure is a step closer to death. Right now we are being forced to sit back and watch our baby girl dying in front of us and not a single doctor in NSW can help us. This is cruel and devastating. We need immediate amnesty to give our little girl a quality of life and a long lasting life. She has dreams too, please help her live to follow them. The Health Minister can’t ignore a dying 8 year old - if he delays access much longer, Sienna will die. Please sign and share to help Sienna. It’s our only hope.  

Yvonne Cooper
123,203 supporters
Petitioning Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten, Dr Michael Gannon, Greg Hunt MP

May 1st Changes to Pap Smears

  As of May 1st the following changes will be implemented to women's Pap Smears: "-women will be invited when they are due to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register-the time between tests will change from two to five years-the age at which screening starts will increase from 18 years to 25 years-women aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have an exit test. The new program will commence from 1 May 2017 when the new Cervical Screening Test will become available on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Until this time, women aged between 18 and 69 years who have ever been sexually active, should continue to have Pap test when due." The government run website states that: "Based on new evidence and better technology, the National Cervical Screening Program will change from 1 May 2017 to improve early detection and save more lives." Prior to May 1 the website advises: "It is very important that women continue to participate in the current two yearly Pap test program to ensure they are not at risk of developing cervical cancer. Pap tests have already halved the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program in 1991. Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test."   "The new Cervical Screening Test detects human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is the first step in developing cervical cancer. The procedure for collecting the sample for HPV testing is the same as the procedure for having a Pap smear. A Health Care Professional will still take a small sample of cells from the woman’s cervix. The sample will be sent to a pathology laboratory for examination. While the current Pap test can detect abnormal cell changes, the new Cervical Screening Test will detect the HPV infection that can cause the abnormal cell changes, prior to the development of cancer. Persistent HPV infections can cause abnormal cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. However, this usually takes a long time, often more than 10 years."   Some of the reasoning behind the changes are: " -cervical cancer in young women is rare (in both HPV vaccinated and unvaccinated women)-despite screening women younger than 25 years of age for over 20 years there has been no change to the rates of cervical cancer or rates of death from cervical cancer in this age group-investigating and treating common cervical abnormalities in young women that would usually resolve by themselves can increase the risk of pregnancy complications later in life-the HPV vaccination has already been shown to reduce cervical abnormalities among women younger than 25 years of age and, in contrast to screening, is ultimately expected to reduce cervical cancer in this age group." Please see petition updates and responses. Dr Michael Gannon has responded to the petition.    

Isabella Rossi
71,616 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

Cancer drug Keytruda needs to be on the PBS. Every 3 weeks a pensioner has to pay $3169 !!

My friend Jill had major colon surgery for bowel cancer in October  2016. Four weeks later she started chemotherapy and the side effects were so severe she required hospitalisation 3 times. Her particular type of cancer represents 5% percentage of bowel cancers. Her oncologist suggested an immunotherapy treatment (Keytruda) to unblock the immune system which has a 60% success rate. She has had two treatments thus far to good effect but each treatment costs $3169 and she as she is a pensioner she does not have access to large financial assets. Jill needs Keytruda every 3 weeks: it needs to be listed on the PBS so Jill and others can live without their families having to sell their homes to pay for their loved ones treatment.

Bronwyn Lewis
42,874 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

Don’t deny my niece a life-saving brain tumour drug

Hello, my name Paul and Im fighting for my Niece Lisa Clarke from Sydney NSW who is battling a brain tumour & has done so for the past 15 years. Now after six surgeries is at a crossroad where chemotherapy is now not helping and she will now undergo a radical radiation treatment for which she needs to have "Avastin"injections to help kill the cancer cells which is not covered by the PBS  at a cost of $3000 an injection and capped at $20,000 for which she will need 7 or more injections. Lisa is only 43 & is raising 3 children on her own and has done so for many years, her marriage broke down through all this & she still works through all this for her kids, so please sign this petition to help change the system to help her & others in her situation. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

paul baker
26,656 supporters
Petitioning The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP

Ban Primate Experiments!

Australia continues to allow non-human primates to be placed in inappropriate environments and subjected to laboratory experiments that not only cause immense suffering, but can also be dangerously misleading for human medical progress because of the significant biological differences between humans and non-human primates.   Your petitioners therefore request an immediate ban on the use of all non-human primates in medical and scientific research in Australia.

Humane Research Australia
20,015 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

Fight Tropical Third-World Disease That's Rampant on Mornington Peninsula

Mycobacterium Ulcerans is a third-world tropical disease, that just so happens to be running rampant on the Mornington Peninsula. I’m trying to persuade the state and federal governments to support research into it. Read on for more details. Please support my cause and sign my petition.  Ever heard of Mycobacterium Ulcerans? Mycobacterium Ulcerans (Buruli or Bairnsdale Ulcer) is a third world tropical infection, that causes severe pain, inflammation and decomposition of tissue and fat. It’s found mostly in African countries such as Uganda, Nigeria and Liberia. So mostly poor countries with poorly developed health systems. It’s also found on the Mornington Peninsula.  My name is Ella Crofts. I’m thirteen years old and I currently have Mycobacterium Ulcerans.  I started feeling pain in my knee in early April. Slowly it got worse, with my knee becoming swollen and inflamed, until one day, the skin started breaking down. We tested the tissue, with a dry-swab, for bacteria multiple times. Each time came back negative. My knee continued to worsen, despite several courses of antibiotics for simple infections. I eventually got a punch-biopsy in my knee, which came back positive for Mycobacterium Ulcerans. Since discovering this information, I visited several Infectious Diseases Specialists before coming to the under the care of one of the world experts. After meeting him, he recommended getting surgery, to clean out the dead tissue. I ended up getting two operations that week. About a month later I had a third operation, again under general anaesthetic. I have had a couple of smaller surgeries under local anaesthetic since then. I’ve also had about three months of strong antibiotics, the sort that someone would use if they had tuberculosis.  My point is, I’ve had six months of quality medical care and still have not recovered. The Bairnsdale Ulcer releases a toxin called Mycolactone. This toxin decreases immune system function and results in tissue death. This infection comes from the same family as leprosy and tuberculosis. How the disease is spread is unknown. There is currently no prevention against it. There have been over 150 cases of Mycobacterium Ulcerans in Victoria so far this year. Many of them are active, healthy kids like me, and most are on the Mornington Peninsula. In the past two years, the number of cases in children (0-15 years old) has doubled.In the 12 months to the 11th September, 2017, there have been 239 cases reported in Victoria. In the last month there have been over 40 new cases reported. This compares to the 89 reported in the whole of 2014.There has been a 300% increase in the number of cases in Victoria in the past five years.  I’m asking you to sign my petition to get Federal and state government support for research into Mycobacterium Ulcerans. Why are the numbers in Victoria increasing so rapidly? Why is it moving? It used to be common on the Bellarine peninsula, now it’s mostly on the Mornington Peninsula. Why is a disease that’s found in tropical Africa, also found in temperate Victoria? We don’t even know how it’s spread. Answers to these questions would help prevent a worsening epidemic. Thousands of people worldwide suffer from this infectious disease, most of them are in third-world countries. If we, a wealthy country, could research this disease we might save countless people from disfigurement and disability.  Please sign my petition to research the Bairnsdale Ulcer! 

Ella Crofts
14,426 supporters
Petitioning Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Hon Tony Burke MP, Hon Steven clobo MP, Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Greg Hunt MP, Hon Gladys Berejikian MP, Hon Will Hodgman MP, Woolworths and Coles supermarkets, CRV , Gabrie...

SAVE AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS/MARINE LIFE IN DANGER. Revise harmful Invasive Animal Legislations

  To the Australian Politicians, Main Issue 1 a Your Environmental control systems are fragmented. See the big picture and have you ever witnessed so many animals get killed all over this country Australia! by Invasive Animals Australia. Is it not obvious that each territory is running a killing havoc with our precious animals and marine life.Its completely unnecessary and abnormal in forms of addressing these issues for farmers and their natural surroundings. Farmers can capture these animals in more humane ways, using traps then rangers taking these animals to zoos and sanctuaries, animal carers & WIRES. Main Issue 1 b. Can you please tidy up a reckless situation which includes MP Barnaby Joyce in the National Party for Australian Agriculture, KIAA. Kangaroo Industry, Primary Industry, Shooters Party, NPWS, NPWS rangers and shooters, OEH, Bio security legislations and Invasive animal legislation involving animal cruelty Marine life cruelty, Australians like their animals and marine life.These people have use excuses to protect farmers, but in reality, they are killing for a meat industry, skin sports industry. What is this NSW Environment, climate change & water ?, what is this National Parks? your 'Handbook for Kangaroo Harvesters'. (YourHandbook for Kangaroo Harvesters - · PDF file)4 Handbook for Kangaroo Harvesters Introduction DECCW has prepared this handbook to help kangaroo harvesters meet the NSW Government’s requirements Primary Industry cannot label all these animals as invasive species then use that as an excuse to market their dead meat for selling commercially. How dare your government mass murder our Native kangaroo species to grind into PET FOODS, fox baits, wild dog baits, export human consumption to 70 countries. This is downright wrong, its virtually stealing and robbing our wildlife native animals that belong to this COUNTRY ' AUSTRALIA'. These animals do not belong to politicians, or shooters, or pet food suppliers! Absolutely NOT! and this True Native Kangaroo Wildlife is not for export for 70 countries on your target list including Russia, Korea, China, USA, human consumption, skins for sporting accessories, you virtually stole WILDLIFE, you downgraded these special animals so you can treat them as invasive! then KILL! PROFIT. Main Issue 1c. Have politicians tried to listen to comments made by Australians & an international community about animal cruelty. Politicians were voted in to represent all, not just Primary Industry, Bio-security and Invasive Animals Australia, using unending excuses to slaughter our animals. The Greens Party and National Parks NPWS, have also used unending excuses for vegetation damage and labelled all these animals including Brumbies (wild horses) FERAL! taking advantage of government grants/funding to eradicate Australian animals. This is so corrupt it needs an internal review. It was these same groups that oppose hunting when previous NSW Liberal Premier Barry O'Ferral reversed the conservation policies to allow hunting inside National Parks and Conservation Parks, Weirdly these groups have since joined INVASIVE ANIMALS AUSTRALIA to eradicate most of the animals by NPWS rangers and shooters. ALL EXTREMELY HYPOCRITICAL! Game hunting inside National Parks should be banned. As well as pouring poisonous chemicals into rivers!. Do you understand how bad the government has behaved by allowing mining in the nearby reefs! Knowing the Great Barrier corals are dying and climate change action is needed.The Governments supporting this mine reflects how desperate politicians are to cash in and prepared to destroy Australia's most famous REEF! Affecting tourism and marine life! As much as you use tax payer funds to do your government jobs, there are many more ways to resolve this form of culling other then downright murdering our animals, birdlife and murdering our marine life. 1. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), also known as rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD) or viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD), is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that affects wild and domestic rabbits of the species Oryctolagus cuniculus. The infectious agent responsible for the disease is rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), or rabbit calicivirus (RCV), genus Lagovirus of the family Caliciviridae. Do you accept there will be lawsuits should pet rabbits die from politicians delegating to bio-security for allowing these viral disease to be spread by mosquitoes, fleas, flies? Our cities do not need these viruses RHDVK5, contain it in your farms! Provide an adequate vaccine by vets for the defence of these human spread viruses now. 2. Snowy Mountain Brumbies, How many horses are slaughtered! Why is the entire control especially Primary Industry NSW run by the Shooters Party? Their scientists are all game hunters! There is no fair votes inside these organizations! Hundreds of wild horses slaughtered in abattoirs! Shame again on Invasive Animals Australia, for passing policies that allow them to label wild brumbies as pests!. Have you politicians wondered it could be more financially viable to build dams or ponds for these Brumbies to drink water from, There are endless reserves to relocate these Brumbies. Public land belongs to all taxpayers! Public land is not owned by politicians! Australian regional landholders with adequate fencing can seriously help adopt Brumbies Australia wide. Information is provided here how to adopt your Brumbies The Australian Brumby Alliance has registered members country wide that are volunteer groups rehoming these beautiful animals. Save a brumby, adopt a brumby, sponsor a brumby 3. How many Koalas are still being culled, (they culled over 900 Koalas in Victoria under Liberals, now under Labour, they stated they would continue to cull). Have they planted more eucalyptus trees to feed the Koala population? Reference to Great Ocean Road in Victoria, previously under Greg Hunt as the Federal Environment MP. Currently approved in NSW, Why are you politicians from NSW Liberal party allowing the Koala Habitat clearance to make way for the NSW RMS project when there were alternate routes?. Currently approved in NSW, why are you Liberal politicians allowing the logging in Port Macquarie?. You are harming most Koalas inside these habitats. Currently there is an emergency volunteer Koala hospital and a volunteer Koala Ambulance in Port Macquarie from the destruction and harm. 4.  Is Eco tourism important to politicians?,  Australian Primary Industry is now making Australia FAMOUS for SLAUGHTERING AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS, MARINE LIFE, BIRDLIFE.  Read the petition comments from a world wide audience please. Your Environmental policies which labelled most animals feral, invasive, pests is wiping out this sector. Governments policies are not only harmful, many Territory and State government policies in this category are damaging to the extremes. Governments are ever changing and each will alter policies and whilst in government, why not make a difference to a healthy environment! History will always be around to remind. What is the responsibility/role of an 'Environment Minister' and 'Tourism Minister'?  Some Australian MP's are given two, three portfolios with conflicting cases which has become counter productive in its planning. (Example: Environment & Energy, Tourism and Trade, Environment, Planning, gaming). Q. What is eco tourism? A. Tourism directed towards exotic natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. Encouraging these activities does provide endless jobs for the communities. (Wildlife Science graduates coordinating research programs, wildlife educational activities for visitors and school children, the list is endless). 5. Should Australia be well known for slaughtering animals, birdlife and marine life? Animals/marine life/birdlife are part and parcel to our environment. 6. Australia has endless raging bushfires yearly during the summers, these native animals they label PESTS to be slaughtered inside our National parks using excuses for vegetation damage is false! The raging bushfires are from overgrown vegetation and these animals help trim the overgrown vegetation. Its time you politicians see the advantages of having animals inside National Parks and conservation Parks. Stop labelling animals PESTS so your partner political parties have access to shoot them dead! or poison them DEAD! 7. The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's most important natural asset and you all turned a blind eye to the problems facing this asset. Instead of saving it, you allow mining in this nearby reef. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS A SADISTIC INHUMANE CRUEL ACT OF IGNORANCE! THE GREEDY POLITICIANS QLD LABOUR PARTY NEED TO RISE ABOVE YOUR ILL MISTAKES AND REVERSE THE DAMAGE IMMEDIATELY and DO NOT ALLOW MINING NEARBY THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!  ITS AN UGLY HOLE, UGLY EYESORE OF A PROJECT THAT SHOULD NEVER EVEN HAVE BEEN GIVEN APPROVAL! THIS IS CORRUPT. 8. STOP POURING POISONOUS CHEMICALS INTO THE RIVERS! BARNABY JOYCE FROM THE NATIONALS PARTY WANTS TO MASS MURDER CARPS  Why don't you make way FOR FRIENDLIER ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE THAT DOES CARE for Australia's natural assets, animal, marine life & birdlife, natural land/marine environments without polluting it further with poison chemicals! 9. STOP THE KANGAROO CULL AUSTRALIA WIDE and Canberra by SHOOTERS and territory government councils,  STOP IMMEDIATELY, you people that shoot innocent animals are so disgustingly barbaric its out of control in NSW, Canberra, OLD, WA, VIC. STOP IMMEDIATELY! The reasons for this slaughter in not justified! its a dated program that should be immediately terminated. These KANGAROOS are not on private pastures, its public land and they are living innocently in their own habitats. These animals belong to Australia, they belong to our natural environment, Primary Industry and Invasive animals Australia do not own our animals! Therefore have no right to do as they please towards our animals! 10. Why is Tasmania culling Wombats, issuing culling licences to kill these animals! Has this COUNTRY GONE ABSOLUTELY MAD? STOP LISTEN to the PEOPLE! 11. Looking for more animals to kill, NPWS,  Invasive Animals Australia, Invasive Animals NSW, next review is the DEER on their pest list pushed by the GREENS!, sweet innocent harmless DEERS Yes BAMBI, they now want to murder our DEERS! Shooters and farmers don't listen to INVASIVE ANIMALS AUSTRALIA! Shooters and farmers, don't listen to the GREENS PARTY! (Under Greens party, over 50,000 Deers are eradicated, culled by hunters in Victoria), using excuses of trampling, the road dirt trampling's are from your four wheel drives digging into the mud, yet blaming the innocent Deers. Update: Primary Industry NSW has decided to not label Deers Invasive leaving it to be hunted for game shooters in NSW, GREENS PARTY ARE ANGRY because they want 'Deer' to be labelled PEST! what is right with you people? sick?, Humans have become the pest in society wanting to label every animal a pest, shameful humans, shameful politicians. 12. Mass shootings by the Shooters Party in conjunction with Victorian Labour Party, how dare you wipe out waterbirds and wild ducks in your full weekend of shooting in the wetlands!. You destroyed beautiful natural wildlife to the extremes leaving thousands of birds mass buried. UGLY sight!       Farms need to build safer greenhouses for their crops and seedlings. In Bio-diversity every animal co-exist. Foxes attack their cattle if the rabbit population is non existent. Farmers can protect their private farms! Why bring viruses into the city park reserves, we don't breed herds in the city to feed the population. Brumbies are part of the Snowy Mountains environment, they have been living there well over 180 years. Its turning into a Wild Horse Meat Industry by Primary Industry. Primary Industry should support farmers by subsidizing adequate fencing for predators instead of pouring a constant amount of their tax paid funds into repetitive pesticides and poisons. What are you doing for farmers?     Koalas were brought into Great Ocean Road to become a tourist hotspot, then its all very hypocritical to cull them using excuses of starvation. Why have the rangers and environmental conservationists not replant eucalyptus trees for these Koalas! Why have you allowed the RMS to clear massive native vegetation to make way for the Pacific Hwy Road Extension when there were alternate routes available that doesn't require logging of eucalyptus tree habitats! Did you sell the timber from all this logging ? The public needs all the details! its public environment!.  25th June 2017, In Australia Wide ABC with Yasmin, Phillipa McDonald reported the NSW government is logging in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour. You should not be harming the Koalas in Port Macquarie. You are logging right in the Koala Territory. STOP THIS HABITAT DESTRUCTION NOW!. This is contradictory to your protection policy for Koalas. Due to Koalas endangered status, you allow the habitat destruction and place new plans to allocate millions of dollars funding to map new Koala habitats for conservation therefore why destroy in the first place.    Government run agencies, NPWS, Invasive Animals Australia call themselves environmentalists, scientists, their excuses about saving bio diversity: save mosses, native plants, cattle pasture competing with tiny rabbits eating few pieces of grass!  What are you doing to the environment! Your actions are hypocritical! These agencies should retreat and make way for new agencies/councils that co-ordinate Australia wide re-homing of animals that farmers trap, remove humanely, transfer alive to local zoos, wildlife carers, wildlife organisations.    National parks NPWS, can't even tidy up the overgrown shrubs inside their reserves, its the tiny rabbits, deers and native animals that are helping them lawn their overgrown national park reserve shrub, weeds!.     Its a national disgrace! 'Dead bunny rabbits', 'Dead Waterbirds & dead Wild Ducks',  'murdered Kangaroos', 'murdered Brumbies', 'murdered Koalas', 'murdered Wombats', 'murdered Ponies', 'murdered Donkeys', Deer slaughters and other affected wildlife/birdlife/marine life poisoning and blowflies spreading RHDVK5, spreading Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 into lakes and rivers. Mining pollution from future mining operations near the Great Barrier Reef!. STOP clearing Habitats destroying all the trees, Koalas are hanging on roads and fences, birds have no more flight paths to land they are flying on road highways.                           The country is going backwards in 2017.                       The World is watching and they are alarmed!                                       ENOUGH IS ENOUGH    

11,285 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

Petition the Aust Govt to put Melatonin on the PBS for people with Autism and disabilities

Children and Adults on the Autism Spectrum struggle every day of their lives with every aspect of basic daily living. One of the biggest hurdles we face - sleep. Many people on the Autism Spectrum do not naturally produce enough of the vital sleep hormone, Melatonin, and thusly need to supplement this with a natural script for Melatonin. This causes infinitely more problems with health, behaviour as well as the long-term effects of severe sleep deprivation. Melatonin is not currently available under the PBS and can cost upwards of $50 per month just so us, or our Children on the Spectrum, can get some sleep. Enough of our income and resources are already taken by expensive Therapies and therapy items, courses and education to help support our loved ones on the Spectrum and special foods for their many aversions and allergies.  The difference you could make to the life of a Child on the Autism Spectru or with other sleep-affecting conditions could be phenomenal. Please support this petition and give these Families the precious gift of a better quality of life. 

Lisa Fett
9,421 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

The Queensland Labor Government...put the Tivoli Theatre on the Heritage List!

The Tivoli Theatre has been home to a large percentage of Brisbane music, theatre and alternative entertainment. Everyone has seen a great band here. The Tivoli is again under threat from developers. We cannot revisit Cloudland. I call on the Queensland Government to heritage list this iconic building and venue, to avoid Brisbane losing another classic venue. Please, Premier of Queensland, with your government's support you can stop this happening. Everyone, please sign and share this petition.

Wayne Wilson
9,299 supporters
Petitioning Greg Hunt MP

Nationwide Cigarette Butt Ban and Recycling Program for Australia

Cigarette Butts have been the worlds biggest pollution problem in recent times with 4.5 Trillion butts littered each year globally and over 7 Billion butts littered in Australia. This has had devastating impacts to the environment and the health of wildlife, marine life and the human population. The major toxic and polluting component of the cigarette is the filter. Cigarette filters are made from hazardous and polluting chemicals and materials including Cadmium, Arsenic, Lead and Acetate Plastic. During and after use of a cigarette these harmful chemicals are released into the air, earth and waterways. The acetate plastic component of the filter remains intact for years before breaking down, and has been found in the stomaches of many birds and other wildlife who have mistaken it for food. These environmental and health impacts can be eliminated by making available smarter eco-sustainable tobacco products and recycling options to the smoking community. It would be great to implement a national ban on cigarette filters, forcing tobacco companies to design filter-less tobacco products to prevent any further cigarette butt pollution, and as a minimum implement a national recycling program for used cigarette butts.  It is a shame we do not currently have any of these..?? There have been cigarette butt recycling campaigns launched in the past by Terracycle in Australia which have had a very healthy impact on our environment while the program was operating. Terracycle have ceased the cigarette butt recycling campaign recently due to tobacco companies and the government failing to fund and support the recycling program.  The efforts of the Tobacco Companies and our Government in addressing post consumer pollution with cigarettes clearly have not been good enough and this is unacceptable.   Help us send a strong message and request to Parliament and Tobacco Companies to make a stronger commitment to our health and environment and implement a national cigarette butt ban, and/or at least re-implement and fund a nation-wide Cigarette Butt Recycling Program and Strategy for Australia.    

Matthew Smith
5,857 supporters

Vitamin B12 injections were removed from general availability on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 January 2016, following a recommendation from the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). The removal of these OTC medicines from PBS general availability is supporting the ongoing integrity and sustainability of the PBS, and is allowing the government to list essential and life-saving medicines which carry a higher cost to consumers such as Kalydeco® for cystic fibrosis. Kalydeco® is being listed on the PBS for 2 – 5 years olds from 1 May 2017. Without government subsidy this treatment would cost each patient around $300,000 per year. When purchased without a prescription, the cost for the same PBS quantity (box of 3) of Vitamin B12 injections should be very similar to the PBS concessional co-payment of $6.30. However, pharmacies are private businesses so the price may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Should you have concerns about the cost of your medicine, we recommend discussing this with your doctor, or compare prices at different pharmacies.

8 months ago
May 1st Changes to Pap Smears

Dear Isabella and petitioners, Thanks for the opportunity to respond to the petition.   Women’s health and cancer testing is extremely important. That’s why it is so vital that people have accurate information.   I'm happy to clarify some of the information here - I think some confusion around what these changes mean has left women concerned, when medical professionals can assure you there's absolutely no need to be. What’s actually happening is that an old test is being replaced with a newer and far more effective test.   This was recommended by Australia’s leading medical experts. They’ve told us the new test is so much more effective that it could reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by up to 30%.   It also means that women only need to have a pap smear every five years instead of every two.   But don’t just take my word for it – here’s what the Australian Medical Association, the Chief Medical Officer and Professor Ian Frazer (the person who created the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer) had to say about the switch to the new test.   PROFESSOR IAN FRASER – Former Australian of the Year, developer of HPV vaccine against cervical cancer   The current cervical cancer screening program has served Australia well over many years, and has prevented many deaths from cervical cancer.  The new program builds on the success of the current program, but uses a newer and more rational approach to screening, by testing for persisting infection with the viruses that cause cervical cancer.   This program is better for the general public because it allows the same near 100% protection against cervical cancer for women who fully participate in the program, but with less frequent testing, as has been shown in clinical trials both internationally and in Australia.     The new program also has the advantage that it will be easier to run, as the old screening test was manual, and required considerable professional expertise and training, and the new screening test is automated, with reliable testing systems.    Also, the number of abnormal tests will fall in the future, as young women who have been protected from HPV and cervical cancer with the HPV vaccines enter the cervical cancer screening program.    Quality assurance is essential for screening tests and it will be easier to provide quality assurance for the new cervical cancer testing program that the old one in future, as quality assurance for the old program depended on finding an  expected number of abnormal screening tests, and this expected number will be so much lower in the future that the old quality assurance system will no longer be reliable..     Overall, the new program will be more convenient for women, and just as effective at preventing cervical cancer, on the available research evidence.   DR MICHAEL GANNON – President of the Australian Medical Association   It is time to sink some of the myths around changes to National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP). The well-intentioned petition, which is hurtling past 50,000 signatures, is nonetheless woefully misinformed and misguided. The new guidelines are evidence-based, and a fabulous good news story for girls and women across Australia.   The new guidelines have been developed over many years by an eminent panel of Gynaecologists, Pathologists, Clinicians, and Scientists. They have been meticulously reviewed through the Medical Services Advisory Council (MSAC) process, and represent a further improvement to the Cervix Cancer screening program, which was already the world’s best.   The new NCSP reflects an increased understanding of the biology of Cervix Cancer. It reflects the changes in epidemiology that will accrue from having a population of young adults (boys and girls) who should nearly all be vaccinated against cancer producing HPV (wart virus) infection.   These changes will mean that millions of women can perfectly safely reduce the number of times they face the nuisance, expense, and discomfort of having Pap smears. Perhaps the only down side of the change is the health promotion opportunities that have accrued from women visiting their GP on a two-yearly basis.   Nonetheless, it will lead to thousands of women avoiding the anxiety of an abnormal Pap smear and an appointment for follow-up testing. In time, this will result in thousands of women avoiding the need for referral to a Gynaecologist for examination and Colposcopy.   Most importantly, it will mean that thousands of women will avoid surgery historically performed (in good faith) to reduce the risk of progression to severe pre-cancerous changes or Cervix Cancer.   The natural history of HPV infection is that, in many cases, especially in healthy, young non-smokers, the immune system will eliminate the virus without treatment. These women need not have surgery.   The old system was never particularly good in detecting Cervix Cancer in women under the age of 25. The progression from pre-cancerous change to invasive Cancer typically takes many years. The change from cytology (examining the cells under a microscope) to HPV testing is appropriate, with more than 99 per cent of cases of Cervix Cancer being caused by HPV infection.   The most important reason to reduce the number of women having this kind of surgery is to reduce short and medium term risks such as infection, haemorrhage, and cervical stenosis.   Most importantly, at a population level it will reduce the incidence of Cervical Incompetence and preterm birth.   Prematurity is the number one cause of death and disability in children less than five years old in the developed world.   In many women, preterm birth occurs secondary to a deficiency in the defence mechanism that a length of closed cervix provides. A reduction in the number of women having surgery on the uterine cervix will be expected to reduce the incidence of prematurity.   Prematurity is associated with increased risks of Cerebral Palsy, chronic lung disease, intellectual impairment, hearing impairment, blindness, learning difficulties, and behavioural problems.   The NCSP changes will thus save taxpayers millions of dollars, but they are not merely a cost-saving measure. This is a well thought out, evidence-based change to Gynaecological practice, which will be a bonanza for improvements in child health.   The existing Cervix Cancer screening program was never perfect in detecting non-HPV-related cancers. It is absolutely essential that, with the new NCSP guidelines, we remind women of the importance of presenting for asymptomatic screening.   It is also absolutely essential that all women are encouraged to report abnormal bleeding to their GP. Whether this bleeding occurs throughout the cycle or after intercourse, it must (as always) be interrogated. It will remain the case that women under the age of 25 with abnormal bleeding will merit Gynaecological investigation and care.   This is a good news story for not only the health of Australian women and girls, but that of their future children. The fact that it is likely to be cost-effective is an added bonus for the taxpayers who fund the success story that is Australia’s NCSP.   PROFESSOR BRENDAN MURPHY – Australia’s Chief Medical Officer   Cervical cancer is a largely preventable cancer and Australia has one of the lowest rates in the world

The Pap smear currently recommended for 18 to 69 year old women every 2 years is going to be replaced by a test for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Because this test is much more sensitive and detects the presence of the virus before it has causes any damage (which happens slowly over many years) it only needs to be done every five years for women from 25 to 74 years of age.

The Australian Government is making this change based on the latest international evidence on the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. The evidence was reviewed by an independent, expert committee and the government accepted their recommendations without amendment. 

Until these changes come into effect women are advised to continue screening in accordance with their current schedule. Women of any age who have symptoms (including pain or bleeding) should see their doctor. There are other very rare forms of cervical cancer but unfortunately neither the current test or new test detect these. 

It is estimated that this new test will reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by up to 30%.

8 months ago