New funding from the Department of Health and Ageing has allowed Monash University to roll out a program that will address delays in access to radiation treatment.
The program is aimed at reducing pressure on radiation oncologists, by "up-skilling" radiation therapists so they can become advanced practitioners.
The new role will allow procedures requiring advanced clinical skills to be performed on behalf of the radio oncologist, which will make for a more "efficient and streamlined" radiation therapy.
Leader of the project Kristie Matthews of Monash University's Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences said that radiotherapy services at their current growth rate weren't likely to meet demand in the next ten years due to the ageing population.
"The demand on radiation oncologists’ time is enormous and as radiation therapists we see the impact even minor treatment delays can have on the patients’ health and well-being," Ms Matthews said.
"What we are trying to achieve in the advanced practice roles is a method of restructuring the workforce to streamline the anticipated increase in demand."
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