Author(s): Blinman PL, Grimison P, Barton MB, Crossing S, Walpole ET,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine current and projected supply, demand and shortfall of medical oncologists (MOs) and the Australian chemotherapy utilisation rate. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A 2009 cross-sectional observational study of Australian adult medical oncology practice work patterns. INSTRUMENT: Electronic or paper self-administered questionnaire. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The 2009 and projected (2014) supply, demand and shortfall of full-time equivalent (FTE) MOs, and the chemotherapy utilisation rate. RESULTS: 476 medical oncology positions comprising 234 FTE MOs were identified. Of the 150 medical oncology practices, 117 (78\%) were in metropolitan locations and 33 (22\%) were in rural locations. The average number of new patients seen per FTE MO was 270 patients (ranging by state from 191 to 343). The demand for FTE MOs was estimated at 326 to 391 in 2009 and 361 to 432 in 2014. The shortfall of FTE MOs was estimated at 92 to 157 in 2009 and 84 to 156 in 2014. The chemotherapy utilisation rate was 19\%. CONCLUSIONS: The current shortage of MOs is expected to persist in the future. National strategies are needed to increase the capacity of the medical oncology workforce and the chemotherapy utilisation rate.
This article was published in Med J Aust
and referenced in Atherosclerosis: Open Access