Radiation oncology is an essential treatment for a significant number of cancers. It is estimated to be involved in 40% of all cancer cures and is used in palliative care to relieve symptoms such as pain.
However, it uses a number of highly expensive pieces of equipment. The Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme was designed to help cover the cost of this equipment and ensure that this equipment is replaced when needed. Due to the high cost involved in replacing this equipment, without support from the Government, it is likely that hospitals and practices will delay replacement resulting in equipment becoming aged and out of date. Before the ROHPG Scheme was introduced radiation therapy equipment was rarely replaced due to the high cost, which compromised patient treatment.
We are concerned that these changes will threaten access to modern radiation therapy equipment and have a profound impact on the delivery of cancer care.