Radiation Oncology Workforce Planning: Final Report

Joe Scuteri, Lisa R. Fodero, Ashleigh O'Mahony, Deborah Schofield

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


On 28th January 2009, the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), commissioned a project to: "undertake a review of the current status and capacity of the three main professions that make up the radiation oncology workforce (radiation oncologists (ROs), radiation therapists (RTs) and radiation oncology medical physicists (ROMPs)) and to identify opportunities for ensuring an adequate supply of a well trained radiation oncology workforce‟
Radiotherapy is an important component of cancer treatment; it increases cure rates, and lessens the suffering of patients and their families. Research has shown that over 52% of cancer patients stand to benefit from the use of radiotherapy at some time during their disease trajectory, either for cure or for palliation of advanced disease. As a result of the data collected for the purposes of this project, it is estimated that, in 2008, 38.1% of newly diagnosed cancer patients received radiotherapy treatment indicating that additional service delivery capacity is required to achieve the best practice treatment rate.
A key part of further increasing the capacity to provide radiotherapy services is to ensure that there is an adequate balance between the supply of, and demand for, trained professionals in the key radiotherapy disciplines, being ROs, RTs and ROMPs. DoHA, working with the Radiation Oncology Reform Implementation Committee (RORIC), has recognised that
workforce planning is a key tool for addressing the supply demand balance and commissioned this project with objectives to:
-provide information on the current radiation oncology workforce profession numbers and issues affecting radiation oncology service provision in Australia;
-provide a methodology which will ensure reliable workforce planning can be conducted in the future; and
-identify opportunities to address workforce and skills shortages.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyDepartment of Health and Ageing
Number of pages216
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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