March 1, 2022

Let’s Recognise the Gap in Accessing Radiation Therapy this National Reconciliation Week

We are delighted to launch a video during the National Reconciliation Week 2022 (27 May – 3 June). This video presents our Targeting Cancer Campaign Ambassador Julie McCrossin AM in conversation with Lynne Thorne, an Aboriginal Cancer Health Practitioner in Adelaide to help you understand the issues and inequality in accessing radiation therapy.

The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians – individuals, families, communities, organisations and government – to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.

The radiation oncology community is taking up the challenge to recognise the gap that the Indigenous population has in accessing radiation therapy for cancer treatment.

When asked if Aboriginal cancer patients are struggling to get the radiation therapy they need, Lynne Thorne said: “Yes, these cancer patients have to leave their home and travel far to receive treatment. Land is very spiritual for them and leaving their home feels like losing their spirit.”

“The most important thing to have an Aboriginal hub where we will help support them for their cancer journey in a culturally safe environment.”

Update on RANZCR Action Plan for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Since the launch of an Action Plan for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in 2021, the College has been delivering on its commitment to improving healthcare outcomes for Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The College has recently secured funding under the Commonwealth government’s Flexible Approach to Training in Expanded Settings Measure to support Australia’s first Indigenous-led initiative which is established to provide peer and collegiate support to non-GP doctors in training.

The College is proud to partner with the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association which will lead the development of its non-GP Specialist Trainee Support Program (STSP). It is central to have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ perspectives and views to achieve the goal and deliver a successful program.

With this program, we will assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors to enter and navigate training pathways, with the opportunity to be mentored by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellows. The program will also help build the capacity of non-Indigenous Fellows to provide culturally safe supervision and mentoring support. It will augment the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander doctors who wish to commence or are currently undertaking non-GP specialist medical training.

To learn more: Indigenous Health and Engagement | RANZCR

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