Calls to modernise Australia’s national newborn screening program

Better Access Australia

Better Access Australia is called on federal politicans to update Australia’s newborn screening program, with chair Felicity McNeill PSM saying the program was last updated almost 25 years ago. 

“Australia’s newborn screening program remains stuck in the 1980s, with no new conditions added to the national program for three decades, which means doctors are often unable to take advantage of medical breakthroughs to save tiny lives,” she said. 

“I urge Federal politicians to imagine they are a parent finding out that their baby has a rare disease months or years down the track, having missed out on diagnosis and life-saving treatment shortly after birth. 

“Time to diagnosis matters. Every week that goes by without screening and diagnosis means vulnerable babies being ravaged by treatable conditions and lives lost. Australia urgently needs a 21st century newborn screening program,” Ms McNeill said. 

“Modernising the national screening program is an easy change for politicians to back that will dramatically improve countless lives and prevent heartbreak and suffering by enabling swift diagnosis and timely treatment. 

“Testing all 300,000 newborns for an additional 50 conditions would cost just $3 million a year. This is small change for the Federal Government – the same amount we spend on COVID-19 testing every 12 hours.

The national petition:

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