Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG)

The ROHPG Scheme offers funding to approved providers for eligible high-cost equipment used in the delivery of radiation therapy.

Page last updated: 21 August 2020

This section includes information about the:
ROHPG Scheme
ROHPG Scheme administrative arrangements (effective 1 July 2017)
ROHPG Transitional Arrangements
ROHPG Administrative Guidelines (effective 1 January 2020)
Application Process
Assessment of Priority Areas (Areas of Need)
2020 Review of the ROHPG Scheme
2016 Review of ROHPG Scheme

ROHPG Scheme

The Scheme was introduced in 1988 as an alternative mechanism for the Commonwealth Government to fund radiotherapy services outside the Medicare arrangements. The Scheme provides a contribution towards the capital cost of eligible radiation therapy equipment. Payments are in addition to Medicare rebates that patients receive for radiotherapy services. Medicare benefits are for the professional and operating costs of services and do not include funding for the cost of equipment used in providing these services.

RROHPG Radiation Treatment Facility Locations

The ROHPG Scheme is established and administered under Part IV of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) and is open to public and private providers who are recognised as an ‘approved health service’ (at a specific location) under the Act.

ROHPG Scheme administrative arrangements (effective 1 July 2017)

Following a review of the ROHPG Scheme in 2016, the Australian Government made changes to the ROPHG Scheme as part of its 2016-17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The new arrangements link funding towards high-cost linear accelerators and direct these funds to priority areas as agreed to by states and territories. The new Scheme arrangements will keep the Commonwealth capital contribution for radiation oncology sustainable into the future.

The key elements of the ROHPG Scheme for equipment approved under the new arrangements are:

  • The Commonwealth will provide a set capital contribution value of $3 million for linear accelerators.
  • The new capital contribution amount of $300,000 per year (for up to 10 years or $375,000 per year for up to 8 years for private providers, as announced in the 2017-18 MYEFO), will apply to linear accelerators for which applications were submitted and approved after 1 July 2017.
  • Capital payments will be made annually for a 10 year period (or an 8 year period for private providers, as announced in the 2017-18 MYEFO). This compares to the previous arrangement where monthly capital payments were made based on the volume of Medicare services up to a capital balance amount. ROHPG funding is no longer linked to MBS items.
  • Providers with capital equipment that was approved prior to 1 July 2017 will continue to receive capital contribution payments based on the equipment’s remaining capital balance. Further information is provided under the ROHPG Transitional Arrangements section below.
Further information on the ROHPG Scheme arrangements and applications is available by emailing the Radiation Oncology Section.

ROHPG Transitional Arrangements

Radiotherapy capital equipment, approved under the pre 1 July 2017 arrangements, excluding networked information systems, will continue to be funded under the old ROHPG arrangements post 1 July 2017. This means:
  • Payments for existing capital equipment will continue up to each equipment’s remaining capital balance.
  • The new post 1 July 2017 ROHPG arrangements only apply to new or replacement equipment for which ROHPG funding is sought after 1 July 2017.

ROHPG Administrative Guidelines (effective 1 January 2020)

The ROHPG Administrative Guidelines have been updated to reflect the new arrangements. The revised ROHPG Guidelines (effective 1 January 2020) are below:

PDF Version: ROHPG Administrative Guidelines (PDF 207 KB)
Word Version: ROHPG Administrative Guidelines (Word 437 KB)

Application Process

Applications are assessed on an individual basis against the ROHPG Guidelines.

Applications must be made using the appropriate ROHPG prescribed application form.

To apply for approval of an organisation under section 40 of the Health Insurance Act 1973 please use the following form:

Application Form Section 40 ROHPG SCHEME effective 1 January 2020 (Word 118 KB)

To apply for approval of a new health service under section 41 of the Health Insurance Act 1973 or for a variation to an approved health service (i.e. an additional linear accelerator, replacement of a linear accelerator relocation of a health service), please use this form:

ROHPG Scheme application form (new, expansion, relocation and replacement) effective 1 January 2020 (Word 131 KB)

To apply for approval of an organisation under section 40 of the Health Insurance Act 1973 due to a transfer of ownership or control of an existing facility, please use this form:

Transfer of Ownership application form effective 1 January 2020 (Word 118 KB)

All ROHPG applications can be mailed to:
    Director
    Radiation Therapy and Medical Indemnity Section
    MBS Policy and Specialist Services Branch
    Medical Benefits Division
    Department of Health
    MDP 861, GPO Box 9848
    CANBERRA ACT 2601
Alternatively, applications can be emailed to radiation.oncology@health.gov.au.

Assessment of Priority Areas

Under the Health Insurance Act 1973, the Commonwealth is obliged to consider all applications received for ROHPG funding.

All providers applying for ROHPG funding for new facilities and linear accelerators submitted from 1 January 2020 will need to demonstrate that they have notified the relevant state or territory of their ROHPG application. This is to assist States and Territories in the planning of radiation oncology services.

Where significant cross-border flows of patients are expected, the applicant should also advise the other relevant States or Territories and provide information showing that this has occurred.

The Department will update identified priority areas and publish timelines for applications for new priority areas on it’s website in February of each year.

Assessment of Priority Areas within Australia for 2020-21

2020 Review of the ROHPG Scheme

In 2017 the Commonwealth Department of Health implemented revised arrangements for the administration of the ROHPG scheme with a commitment to review the Scheme before 30 June 2021.

The Department is undertaking a review of the ROHPG Scheme with particular focus on the impact of changes implemented in 2017, including funding arrangements. The review will also examine the effectiveness of the Scheme in meeting its objectives to:
  • improve health outcomes for cancer patients;
  • ensure adequate and equitable access to radiation oncology services for Australian cancer patients;
  • improve equity of access for cancer patients; and
  • maintain the quality and safety of radiation oncology equipment.
The Department has contracted Healthcare Management Advisors Pty Ltd (HMA) to conduct the review and to further inform the above objectives, current providers may be contacted by HMA to provide feedback on the Scheme.

The Terms of Reference for the review are below:

PDF Version: Terms of Reference (PDF 133 KB)
Word Version: Terms of Reference (Word 24 KB)

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the ROHPG Team at radiation.oncology@health.gov.au.

2016 Review of the ROHPG Scheme

A copy of the review report is available on the 2016 Review of the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme web page.