Access to Care

Access to Care

Who doesn’t get treatment?  Who should?

Access to radiotherapy is a key component of a cancer control strategy given its critical role in the curative and palliative management of Canadians diagnosed with the disease.  It is unknown to what extent access to radiotherapy varies across Canada.  As part of its new mandate, CPQR will be working with stakeholders to develop and report on a plan and operational framework for obtaining, sharing and aggregating pan-Canadian radiation treatment utilization data.  This work will form an initial step in understanding inequities in access to radiation treatment across Canada, barriers to access and ways of improving access.

What is currently being done

Researchers in Canada, Australia and in the UK have developed international benchmarks and targets for access to radiotherapy. Methods to develop these benchmarks have been based on deductive methods such as decision trees and on inductive methods such as benchmarking based on current patterns of practice. These methods essentially converge on robust targets for radiotherapy utilization.  The parameter most relevant to this deliverable is the one-year rate of radiotherapy utilization (RT1Y) defined as the proportion of newly diagnosed patients that receive radiotherapy within 12 months of their diagnosis.

What is CPQRs approach?

  • Convene a meeting of stakeholders to formulate a project plan assessing access to radiotherapy in Canada
  • Assemble a CPQR Access to Care working group based on key stakeholder involvement
  • Conduct an environmental survey and report on currently available provincial statistics describing access to care
  • Evaluate and report on the feasibility of conducting pan-Canadian access to care analyses using province-specific registry and treatment data, building on existing models in Ontario and incorporating new hypotheses involving populations at risk (rural, elderly, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities).

 What are the long-term objectives?

A comprehensive description of access to radiotherapy care across Canada will support the development of a knowledge translation program and region-specific and context-specific strategies to improve access to radiotherapy.