Better Access to Radiation Oncology Programme – Cessation

Page last updated: 18 December 2015

Patients will continue to have their radiation oncology needs met following changes to Commonwealth supported programmes.

Radiation oncology services will continue to be supported by the Commonwealth through items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule and capital equipment will continue to be subsidised through the Radiation Oncology Health Programme Grant Scheme.

Two fixed term programmes under the Better Access to Radiation Oncology Programme will close when existing funding arrangements expire in the 2016/17 financial year, saving $26 million from uncommitted funds.

This includes a Commonwealth funded trial of the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service, which audits the doses of radiation cancer patients receive to ensure they are accurate and safe. This valuable service will continue from 2016-17, moving to a user pays funding model which has been accepted in principle by the majority of states and territories at Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council in December 2015.

Secondly, the Training, Education and Assessment Programme, which provides training support to encourage medical physicists to work in cancer treatment roles, will continue until the current contract expires in 2016-17.

A review of the Radiation Oncology Health Programme Grant Scheme will be undertaken in 2016 following the performance audit by the Australian National Audit Office with stakeholder engagement expected to occur in early 2016.