Planning for the Best

Tripartite National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology 2012-2022

Key Issues

Delivery of a quality radiation oncology service for cancer treatment relies on the availability of specialised workforce and infrastructure. The situation across the Australian radiation oncology sector is such that:

  • The current numbers and trends in the availability of workforce and linear accelerators (linacs) are not sufficient to meet the target optimal utilisation rate of 52.3% of new cancer patients either in 2012 or in 2022;
  • There is a lack of effective coordination between bodies responsible for workforce, resources and infrastructure planning;
  • A critical barrier for patients to access radiotherapy is their proximity to radiation oncology facilities;
  • Appropriate imaging and specialised radiotherapy techniques (such as IMRT) are not cohesively incorporated into service plans and infrastructure planning;
  • Ongoing resourcing for the national program of equipment replacement within agreed lifespans is essential to ensure that radiotherapy equipment is kept current.