Infrastructure and equipment for radiation oncology in the spanish national health system: analysis of external beam radiotherapy 2015-2020.
Abstract: PURPOSE Planning for radiation oncology requires reliable estimates of both demand for radiotherapy and availability of technological resources. This study compares radiotherapy resources in the 17 regions of the decentralised Spanish National Health System (SNHS). MATERIAL AND METHODS The Sociedad Española de Oncología Radioterápica (SEOR) performed a cross-sectional survey of all Spanish radiation oncology services (ROS) in 2015. We collected data on SNHS radiotherapy units, recording the year of installation, specific features of linear accelerators (LINACs) and other treatment units, and radiotherapeutic techniques implemented by region. Any machine over 10 years old or lacking a multileaf collimator or portal imaging system was considered obsolete. We performed a k-means clustering analysis using the Hartigan-Wong method to test associations between the gross domestic regional product (GDRP), the number of LINACs per million population and the percentage of LINACs over 10 years old. RESULTS The SNHS controls 72 (61%) of the 118 Spanish ROS and has 180 LINACs, or 72.5% of the total public and private resources. The mean rate of LINACs per million population is 3.9 for public ROS, and 42% (n=75) of the public accelerators were obsolete in 2015: 61 due to age and 14 due to technological capability. There was considerable regional variation in terms of the number and technological capacity of radiotherapy units; correlation between GRDP and resource availability was moderate. CONCLUSION Despite improvements, new investments are still needed to replace obsolete units and increase access to modern radiotherapy. Regular analysis of ROS in each Spanish region is the only strategy for monitoring progress in radiotherapy capacity.
Universal identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10641/1369
- MEDICINA