- The Government announced in MYEFO 2016 that it will achieve efficiencies of $18.7 million over four years from 1 July 2017 by linking funding towards high-cost linear accelerators (linacs) 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
- The measure follows an independent review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme in August 2016 and an ANAO audit in May 2016 which found strong support from the radiation oncology sector for maintaining the ROHPG Scheme. However, the administration processes warrant review and the current level of capital funding contribution should be revised and better targeted.
- On 19 December 2016, the Department advised stakeholders of the MYEFO announcement outlining the administrative changes and includingdraft revised ROHPG Scheme administrative guidelines and frequently asked questions. Stakeholders were invited to provide comments on the draft grant approval guidelines in December 2016 and again in February 2017. Comments received by the Commonwealth have been considered and incorporated into the revised ROHPG Administrative Guidelines
The ROHPG Scheme, which was established in 1988, is an administrative grant funding scheme to eligible providers for eligible radiotherapy equipment. The Scheme provides a contribution towards the capital cost of eligible radiation therapy equipment.
Under the MYEFO changes, the purpose and objectives of the grants will not change.
The ROHPG reform is a component of the Government’s objective to guarantee Medicare and reinvest in medical services for patients.
Importantly, the changes to the ROHPG Scheme do not change any existing patient entitlement to Medicare rebates for radiotherapy or access to the Medicare safety net.
Further information about the new ROHPG administrative arrangements, effective 1 July 2017, can be obtained from the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (HPG)