Review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grant Scheme

Project Info


  • Australian Government Department of Health

Client Type

  • Commonwealth department

Financial Year

  • 2020-2021

Health Area

  • Cancer

Services Provided

  • Evaluation
  • Health program evaluations


  • National

The Radiation Oncology Health Program Grant (ROHPG) provides a contribution to the capital funding of high-cost radiotherapy equipment (i.e. linear accelerators) to ensure equitable access to radiotherapy services across Australia. Given the changing context of radiotherapy in Australia, the Australian Government Department of Health engaged HMA to assess the effectiveness of the ROHPG Scheme against the objectives of the program, including the impact of revised arrangements introduced in 2017. Key tasks included:

  • preparation of a review framework and consultation strategy, including development of a program logic and key review areas for analysis
  • desktop review of relevant literature, program documentation, policy and data to provide background context for the program and the broader radiotherapy sector in Australia
  • stakeholder consultation of public and private radiotherapy facilities that receive ROHPG funding, the Department, jurisdictional departments of health (or equivalent), peak bodies and colleges, safety and quality agencies, consumer advocacy groups, and linear accelerator vendors
  • analysis of ROHPG program data, AIHW radiotherapy data and MBS radiotherapy data to examine radiotherapy usage trends over time by jurisdiction and geographic remoteness (Modified Monash Model), trends in MBS ‘bulk-billing’ rates by geographic remoteness and estimated demand for radiotherapy services based on optimal utilisation rates and cancer incidence projections
  • trade-off analysis of the existing ROHPG funding arrangements compared with six alternative funding mechanisms to assess the pros and cons of each with regard to the status quo
  • review of ROHPG application guidelines and assessment process for ongoing relevance and accountability, and
  • preparation of a draft and final report that detailed the review findings and provided recommendations for the ROHPG program going forward. The published report can be found here.

The project commenced in August 2020 and was completed in December 2020.