The results of a report from Sydney’s Liverpool Hospital into radiation services suggests cancer patients around Australia were treated at a level significantly below the world’s best due to a lack of adequate resources including treatment facilities and trained staff.
Professor Michael Barton, radiation oncologist from the Liverpool Health Service said ‘we found that while things have improved over the last few years, overall radiotherapy utilisation rates still fell significantly shot of what should be happening’.
Results of the study showed that ‘in breast cancer, the optimal rate of radiation treatment was 83% but only 71% received it. In the case of lung cancer, optimal rates for radiation therapy were at 76% but only 50% received it. So something like a third of lung patients who might benefit do not get treated’.
Professor Barton says comparatively poor pay means many related specialists go overseas for more lucrative positions or even leave the medical profession entirely.
Federal Health Minister, Kay Patterson has acknowledged workplace problems exist.
(Source: OMNUS Oncology, ABC Online)