Key messages

  • Some population groups remain under-screened and at increased risk of late-stage cancer diagnosis and high mortality rates.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has initiatives in place to reduce these health disparities.

Despite improvements in the health of Australians over the last century, gains have not been equally shared across all sections of the community and large gaps in health outcomes continue to exist between population sub-groups.

The Victorian Department of Health & Human Services has a strong focus on improving health outcomes for people in under-screened and non-screened communities. This includes encouraging people to participate in the three national cancer screening programs.

Population group disparities in screening and early detection

Certain population groups experience higher risk of late-stage cancer diagnosis, have poorer survival outcomes and higher mortality rates. These groups tend to participate in screening and cancer prevention programs at lower rates than the rest of the Victorian population.

Initiatives to reduce disparities

In collaboration with cancer screening programs and key partners, the Department of Health and Human Services has implemented a range of initiatives to reduce health disparities. These initiatives are providing evidence to inform further strategies to increase participation in cancer screening programs by under-screening population groups.

The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to strengthen capabilities in four action areas - research, data, recruitment and service delivery.