Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 23 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2293 ..
• the implementation of a service development framework
• a review of patient travel assistance schemes
• implementation of strategies to increase workforce and
• the development of a comprehensive quality program for all radiation oncology services.
Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
• Radiation Oncology has been integrated with other cancer treatment disciplines into the Capital Region Cancer Service. The Capital Region Cancer Service integrates existing services across the ACT and southern NSW to provide a patient centered continuum of care for persons with cancer.
The key objectives of the Capital Region Cancer Service are:
1 Ensure patient centered care;
2 Implementation, monitoring and review of standards;
3 Access to multi-disciplinary clinical services;
4 Communication between primary, secondary and tertiary services; and
5 Education, training and continuing professional development.
To facilitate care coordination a radiotherapy liaison officer has been employed.
The ACT is participating in the Radiation Oncology Reform Implementation Committee (RORIC). This body is helping to facilitate greater collaboration between different jurisdictions and to continue implementation of reforms to the radiotherapy sector.
• The ACT has adopted the Radiation Oncology Service Development Framework. This will ensure that planning for Radiation Oncology Services in the ACT is undertaken in a similar fashion to that in other jurisdictions, using common principles and addressing the same key considerations.
A radiation oncology strategic plan focusing on service delivery and incorporating a service development framework will be developed during 2005-06.
In particular, the plan will provide an implementation framework for achieving timely delivery of radiation oncology services benchmarked to national standards.
• ACT Health undertook a review of the Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS) in October 2003.
In the context of the developing a radiation oncology strategic plan; a further review will be undertaken of the eligibility criteria, payment categories and levels of assistance under the Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS).
• There is a national and international shortage of radiation therapists and radiation oncologist. During 2004-05, concerted efforts were made to attract and retain staff within ACT Health. An international recruitment program was initiated to recruit radiation oncologists and radiation therapists to the ACT. As a consequence:
• Three of the 4 radiation oncologist positions are currently filled.