Partnerships with Private Radiotherapy Services
Radiotherapy is an important part of cancer treatment but in some areas of NSW there is only a private radiotherapy service. In other areas, public radiotherapy services may have waiting lists for treatment where private services do not.
Patients must choose between travelling to a public radiotherapy centre or paying a large gap fee to be treated locally or in extreme circumstances, forgoing treatment. The financial cost of travel, the burden on family members providing transport, and the time taken out of daily schedules, creates hardship and psychological stress for patients and families.
International benchmarks suggest at least 50% of cancer patients will require radiotherapy at least once during the course of their illness, however, only 38% of NSW cancer patients receive it. All patients requiring radiotherapy should have access to this treatment in order to achieve the best possible results for controlling cancer and the best quality of life for patients and the people supporting them.
To improve equity of access to treatment and reduce unnecessary burdens on cancer patients and their carers, ask the NSW Minister for Health – Jillian Skinner – to establish:
- formal agreements with private radiotherapy centres so that public patients can attend private radiotherapy without paying a gap fee; and,
- an online, publicly accessible database of waiting times at all public radiotherapy centres in NSW.