Progress Towards National Lung Cancer Screening Program

Department of Health

The program will be available to people aged 50 to 70 years who have a history of cigarette smoking and do not have symptoms of lung cancer.

It will support free, low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans every 2 years, with new Medicare items.

The Australian Parliament passed the National Lung Cancer Screening Amendment Bill 2024 on 16 May 2024 to allow the program to be established.

The Australian Government has invested more than $60 million in organisations assisting with designing and developing the program, including partnerships with:

  • the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) to co-design the program with and for First Nations people, ensuring it is culturally safe
  • Heart of Australia to provide mobile lung cancer screening in rural and remote areas
  • Lung Foundation Australia to support at risk groups to use the program
  • the Daffodil Centre to develop resources to support consumers and healthcare professionals
  • the University of Melbourne to develop the program guidelines to support healthcare professionals along the screening pathway.

We’re also working with the radiology sector in recognition of their important role in delivering the program.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in Australia, and disproportionately affects First Nations people and people living in rural and remote areas.

In 2023, an estimated:

  • 14,800 Australians were diagnosed with lung cancer
  • 8,700 Australians died from lung cancer

By finding lung cancer in its early stages, when it is more treatable, we expect the program to save around 500 lives each year.

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