Media Releases

LABOR WILL END THE NEWBORN HEALTH SCREENING LOTTERY

April 06, 2022

An Albanese Labor government will make Australia’s Newborn Screening Programs world class, saving lives, delivering better care and making the system fairer.
 
Newborn screening is crucial to identify and treat rare diseases allowing conditions to be diagnosed - with something as simple as a heel prick at birth, our kids can get the care they need from the earliest stages of life. 
 
Australia’s screening program hasn’t been updated since the 1980s and, in most States and Territories, only tests for 25 conditions compared to world’s best practice of screening for 80 conditions. 
 
This can lead to delays in diagnosis of life-long health conditions and avoidable deaths. 
 
Parents can be confident that no matter which hospital their child is born in their baby will be fully screened for rare conditions.
 
Different States and Territories also screen for different conditions, leading to inequality in health care across Australia. 
 
Labor will put an end to this testing lottery by introducing a universal screening program.
 
Labor will invest $38.4 million to deliver a world’s best practice screening program for all of Australia, increasing the number of conditions screened to 80. 
 
Our approach is in line with world’s best practice.
 
An Albanese Labor Government will work with the States and Territories to deliver a better national newborn screening program, including a regular process to update screened conditions on expert advice.
 
Only Labor can be trusted to strengthen Medicare and improve health care for Australians.

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