Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG)

The ROHPG Scheme offers funding to approved providers for eligible high-cost equipment used in the delivery of radiation therapy.

Page last updated: 31 January 2018

This section includes information about the:
ROHPG Scheme
2017-18 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook – ROHPG Scheme
ROHPG Scheme administrative arrangements effective 1 July 2017
ROHPG Transitional Arrangements
Revised ROHPG Administrative Guidelines
Assessment of Priority Areas (Areas of Need)
2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook – ROHPG Scheme
Review of ROHPG Scheme

ROHPG Scheme

The Scheme was introduced in 1988 as an alternative mechanism for the Commonwealth Government to fund radiotherapy services outside the Medicare arrangements. The Scheme provides a contribution towards the capital cost of eligible radiation therapy equipment. Payments are in addition to Medicare rebates that patients receive for radiotherapy services. Medicare benefits are for the professional and operating costs of services and do not include funding for the cost of equipment used in providing these services.

The ROHPG Scheme is established and administered under Part IV of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) and is open to public and private providers who are recognised as an ‘approved health service’ (at a specific location) under the Act.

2017-18 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook – ROHPG Scheme

The Government announced in the 2017-18 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook that it will realign funding provided by the ROHPG Scheme for private sector linear accelerators. The measure is estimated to cost $4.5 million over four years.

Private radiotherapy providers will receive the $3 million capital contribution for linear accelerators over an eight year period. This funding arrangement will apply for all private sector linear accelerators approved under the post 1 July 2017 ROHPG arrangements until 30 June 2021, when the Scheme’s funding arrangements will be reviewed.

ROHPG Scheme administrative arrangements effective 1 July 2017

Following a review of the ROHPG Scheme in 2016, the Australian Government made changes to the ROPHG Scheme as part of its 2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The new arrangements link funding towards high-cost linear accelerators and direct these funds to priority areas as agreed to by states and territories. The new Scheme arrangements will keep the Commonwealth capital contribution for radiation oncology sustainable into the future.

The key elements of the ROHPG Scheme for equipment approved under the new arrangements are:
  • The Commonwealth will provide a set capital contribution value of $3 million for linear accelerators, with capital payments made up-front annually for a 10 year period (or an 8 year period for private providers, as announced in the 2017-18 MYEFO). This compares to the previous arrangement where monthly capital payments were made based on the volume of Medicare services up to a capital balance amount. ROHPG funding is no longer linked to MBS items.
  • The new capital contribution amount of $300,000 per year (for up to 10 years or $375,000 per year for up to 8 years for private providers, as announced in the 2017-18 MYEFO), will apply to linear accelerators for which applications were submitted and approved after 1 July 2017.
  • Providers with capital equipment that was approved prior to 1 July 2017 will continue to receive capital contribution payments based on the equipment’s remaining capital balance. Further information is provided under the ROHPG Transitional Arrangements section below.
Further information on the ROHPG Scheme arrangements and applications is available by emailing the Radiation Oncology Section.

ROHPG Transitional Arrangements

Radiotherapy capital equipment, approved under the pre 1 July 2017 arrangements, excluding networked information systems, will continue to be funded under the old ROHPG arrangements post 1 July 2017. This means:
  • Payments for existing capital equipment will continue up to each equipment’s remaining capital balance.
  • The new post 1 July 2017 ROHPG arrangements only apply to new or replacement equipment for which ROHPG funding is sought after 1 July 2017.

Revised ROHPG Administrative Guidelines

New administrative arrangements for the decisions to approve grants under the ROHPG Scheme came into effect on 1 July 2017. The ROHPG Administrative Guidelines have been updated to reflect the new arrangements.

PDF Version: ROHPG Administrative Guidelines (PDF 207 KB)
Word Version: ROHPG Administrative Guidelines (Word 437 KB)

Applications are assessed on an individual basis against the ROHPG Administrative Guidelines. The criteria outlined in the Guidelines are as follows:
  • eligibility of equipment
  • priority areas and affordability of services
  • financial viability
  • integration with multidisciplinary and patient-centred care
  • adequate staffing
  • implementation of the project, including whether it is well developed, well-resourced and implemented within a reasonable timeframe.
ROHPG Application Forms and information about scheduled Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service Audits can be obtained by emailing the Radiation Oncology Section.

Assessment of Priority Areas

All applications for new facilities and linear accelerators submitted from 1 July 2017 will need to demonstrate that the respective state or territory has been consulted prior to submission to the Commonwealth for approval. The Department of Health may also seek further advice from the relevant state or territory as part of its assessment. Applications received for areas considered to be a priority will be given preference.

It is noted that under the Health Insurance Act 1973, the Commonwealth is obliged to consider the merits of all applications received for ROHPG funding and all applications received will be considered by the Department of Health.

As agreed with states and territories, priority areas are published on the Australian Government Department of Health website to assist radiotherapy providers to target areas of need when applying for ROHPG funding.

Assessment of Priority Areas within Australia until 2019-20

2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook – ROHPG Scheme

Further information about the MYEFO announcement regarding the changes to the ROHPG Scheme can be obtained on the 2016-17 MYEFO – Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme webpage.

Review of the ROHPG Scheme

A copy of the review report is available on the 2016 Review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme web page.