Trends for the past 10 years and international comparisons of the structure of Korean radiation oncology.
ABSTRACT Study aims include determination of nationwide structural characteristics of radiation oncology facilities, types of radiation therapy equipment, availability of human resources and trends and comparisons with previous surveys.
An annual nationwide survey was conducted to collect the statistics of infrastructure since 1997. All requested questionnaires have been identical for 10 years. The questionnaires included status on basic radiation therapy facilities, human resources and radiation therapy equipment. Journal and statistical data reviews were performed to evaluate the structure of other countries.
Radiation oncology facilities have steadily increased for 10 years and reached 60 sites in 2006. Also a steady increase of 1.5 times for linear accelerators, 5.8 times for computed tomography simulators and 3.0 times for radiation treatment planning systems was noted. Meanwhile, cobalt-60 teletherapy units and hyperthermia equipment had steadily deceased for 10 years. The number of human resources has steadily increased for the past 10 years, especially for radiation therapy technologists. However, radiation therapy equipment and human resources per population are relatively low compared with advanced countries.
This study will assist preparation of the administrative planning policy of radiation oncology and should be useful to indicate the direction of future development and educational training programs in Korea and possibly in other countries.