While Governor Phil Murphy’s plans to allocate $100 million from his Fiscal Year 2019 budget to counteract New Jersey’s opioid epidemic, he has “eliminated $2 million in funding for the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research,” as explained by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) New Jersey Government Relations Director Brian Shott. According to Shott, “This [eliminated] program supports research in our state that has provided significant advances in the fight against cancer and in saving lives and protecting health. If this elimination of funding is sustained, it puts at risk current cancer research as well as our ability to keep some of our country’s top clinicians in our state.” Furthermore, “It is projected that in 2018 more than 53,000 New Jerseyans will hear the message that they have cancer. More than 16,000 of our state’s residents will lose their lives to cancer this year.”
Governor Murphy’s recognition of “the scourge of opioids” that is “decimating communities throughout New Jersey” could easily be applied to the ravages of a cancer diagnosis. The methodology for spending the money for opioid addiction consists of $56 Million for prevention, treatment, and recovery; 31 Million to address social risk factors, and $13 Million for infrastructure and data. This model works just as well for addressing the “cancer crisis.”
So how is it decided? Is it based upon the number of people afflicted? Is it the publicity of a particular cause? Is it fair?
The battle for limited resources continues. ACS CAN (American Society)’s Director Shott, stated, “We know that we can and must do better. Governor Murphy often has spoken of the need to keep our state at the forefront of innovation, and this development is certainly contrary to that pledge.” The politicians will be held accountable for their decisions.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org
SNOR proud cancer survivor and advocate for humanistic medical care.
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