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.