Talking with Menzies about cancer, indigenous people and palliative care

A forum including cancer clinicians, GPs, researchers and members of the indigenous community today met to discuss the future priorities of cancer services for for the indigenous community for the future to 2030.

During the day four panel discussions looked at cancer prevention and early detection, culturally appropriate care, palliative and end of life care, and survivorship and advocacy.

Speaking about culturally appropriate care Bonnie King from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation described engaging and supporting members of the Alice Springs and surrounding community in accessing care.

“We describe our people according to three groups – those who are well educated and don’t need help accessing services, those who are in denial and don’t want to know, and those who need help accessing services.”

Access to services might include travelling to treatment at hospitals in Darwin or Adelaide.

“A lot of our people get confused with medication, they get confused with getting to hospital, (the health system) is getting bigger…so now we use You Tube to show the clients using videos showing their procedures and what to expect. (The experience of getting to treatment) can be overwhelming for them, so we have a lot of supports in place to help them.”

Alex Huntir from Palliative Care NSW spoke about palliative care and how its organised and accessed in NSW.  

The Shaping the Future: Indigenous People and Cancer forum was hosted by the Menzies School of Health Research and runs 11-12th of September in Sydney.

The Menzies School of Health Research is ‘dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians’ throughout the age range, with interests from clinical to population-level health research.

Other events this week – on Thursday 13th September the 2018 Innovations in Cancer Treatment and Care Conference (hosted by Cancer Institute NSW) opens in Sydney.

Pic: Bonnie King from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation speaking (second from R), with panel members (from L) Phillip Carson, Leila Murison, Sandra Miller and (R) Siddartha Baxi.