Planning for the Best

Tripartite National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology 2012-2022

2012-2022 Strategic Directions and Objectives for the Radiation Oncology Sector

Strategic Direction Objective Defining success
Providing a quality radiation oncology service The current and future standard is a world class radiation oncology service with robust quality systems and standards in place. A nationally planned approach to the radiation oncology sector, which takes into account the needs of all cancer patients, their families and carers, which is characterised by:

  • A forward-looking strategy to deliver improved radiation oncology services;
  • The availability of radiotherapy to all patients for whom it is clinically appropriate which can be accessed in a timely manner;
  • A patient-centred, evidence-based and multidisciplinary approach to care;
  • Ongoing evaluation of quality assurance, patient quality of life and survivorship
  • Continuous quality improvement;
  • Engendering leadership and fostering a culture of quality.
Resourcing the radiation oncology sector The radiation oncology workforce and infrastructure are appropriate to meet current and future cancer incidence. A prospectively planned and nationally coordinated radiation oncology service across Australia, which includes:

  • Cancer incidence is the basis for planning;
  • Workforce and infrastructure are planned together in a coordinated way;
  • Workforce training is aligned with service demand projections and supported appropriately;
  • A National Cancer Action Plan which includes radiation oncology is adopted;
  • Jurisdictional radiation oncology action plans are developed, maintained and integrated with the National Cancer Action Plan;
  • Closer consultative collaboration between governments, policy-makers, service providers, patients and the professions to ensure most effective use of resources;
  • Innovative models of quality service provision are developed to improve efficiencies.
Supporting rural and regional access to radiation oncology services Rural and regional patients have timely and affordable access to radiation oncology services. A nationally coordinated and focused approach to improving rural and regional patients’ access to radiation oncology services, including:

  • Comprehensive, quality cancer care is available to patients, which includes a national patient travel and accommodation scheme;
  • Models of care are locally tailored and appropriate to rural and regional areas;
  • Strategies in place that recognise and ameliorate the financial and social impact of cancer on patients and carers in rural and regional areas;
  • Innovative approaches to patient care are implemented, evaluated and supported.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to radiation oncology
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients have access to radiotherapy services offered in a culturally appropriate and respectful way. A focus on improving Indigenous patients’ outcomes in cancer control and radiotherapy specifically, including:

  • Better data collection on Indigenous access to oncological services;
  • Assessment of specific barriers to service access;
  • Evidence-based strategies to improve access to treatments;
  • Improved engagement between the hospital system, local communities and community-controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.
Research and academia as foundations of future practice World class research is part of the core business of radiation oncology services. Australia is an international leader in radiation oncology research that improves patient outcomes:

  • Local research that results in evidence based and timely implementation of new treatment techniques and technologies;
  • Increased funding allocation to radiation oncology research that is commensurate with its contribution to cancer control;
  • Dedicated radiation oncology research equipment and staff time are included into national service planning;
  • Access to clinical radiation oncology equipment time for (translational and implementation) research is factored into facility service planning;
  • Integration of radiation oncology treatments into comprehensive electronic medical records (EMR);
  • Research is recognised as part of core business for all radiotherapy facilities;
  • Multidisciplinary research teams are established, incorporating discovery, translational and implementation research.