2016 Review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme

A formal review of the ROHPG Scheme was completed in August 2016. The aim of the review was to ensure that Commonwealth funding of radiation therapy equipment in Australia is contemporary, fair and equitable.

Page last updated: 27 June 2017

Review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme report - (Word 3531 KB)
Review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme report - (PDF 1018 KB)
A report on the review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme was produced by mpconsulting and is available for download in PDF and an accessible word version.

Radiation Oncology Fact Sheet
Radiation Oncology Fact Sheet (PDF 302 KB)
This fact sheet provides a brief background on Commonwealth funding of radiation oncology services in Australia.

On 22 April 2015, the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, announced a programme of work to deliver a Healthier Medicare and announced that a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce would be established to consider how existing MBS items can be aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice. The MBS Review Taskforce released two consultation papers on 27 September 2015.

Commonwealth funding for radiation oncology is provided through the MBS for medical services and the ROHPG Scheme. The ROHPG Scheme, which was introduced in 1988, provides a contribution towards capital costs incurred by radiation oncology providers for major radiation oncology equipment and has not been formally reviewed since 1999.

The Australian National Audit Office also conducted a performance audit of the ROHPG Scheme and the report was published in May 2016.

Given the linkages between radiation oncology MBS items and the ROHPG Scheme, the Department initiated a review of the ROHPG Scheme. The Department sought feedback on a number of areas, including:

  • The benefits and limitations of the scheme
  • Its purpose
  • Potential alternative funding models
  • Determining eligible equipment
  • Workforce considerations
  • Linking funding to quality measures (rather than throughput)
  • Billing practice complexity, and
  • Existing supply/potential saturation of services.
An independent report on the review is now available.

Publicly available written submissions received are also available.

In line with the recommendations of the review report, the Government announced in MYEFO 2016-17 that it will achieve efficiencies of $18.7 million over four years from 1 July 2017 by linking funding towards high-cost linear accelerators and directing these funds to areas of need as agreed to by states and territories. This will keep the Commonwealth capital contribution for radiation oncology sustainable into the future.

Further information about the new administrative arrangements for the ROHPG Scheme and transition arrangements can be obtained on the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme webpage.

More information about Australian Government funding of radiation oncology services is available in the Radiation Oncology Fact Sheet