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Radiother Oncol. 2002 May;63(2):147-50.

Radiotherapy services in countries in transition: gross national income per capita as a significant factor.

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1
Section of Applied Radiation Biology and Radiotherapy, Division of Human Health, Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Wagramer Strasse 5, P.O. Box 200, A-1400, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The acquisition of radiotherapy by countries in transition (CITs) is an evolutionary process from having no resources whatsoever, to meeting the standards adopted by well-developed countries. The influence of the economic ability of a country to acquire and sustain this technology has intuitively been accepted as a major factor but has not before been subjected to analysis for a large group of countries. This information has been analysed to provide guidance to countries commencing and expanding radiotherapy services.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The number of linear accelerators and (60)Co megavoltage teletherapy machines in 72 CITs, those with gross national income per capita (GNI/cap)<$12000 per annum (pa) and a sample of 12 countries with GNI/cap>$12000 pa were expressed as machines per million population (MEV/mil) and used as an index of the ability of the country to provide a service. This figure was related to GNI/cap. The average populations of 24 further countries without radiotherapy were compared with 21 countries with radiotherapy facilities having the same range of GNI/cap.

RESULTS:

The relationship log(10) MEV/mil=-2.90+0.85 log(10) GNI/cap was identified between the machines and income. Also verified was that small low income countries were less likely to have the technology than those with large populations.

CONCLUSIONS:

The increase in the number of teletherapy machines is closely linked to the GNI/cap of a country. Our sample of well developed countries failed to demonstrate a levelling off of equipment acquisition with income. In the lower income group, smaller countries were less likely to have radiotherapy services than those with large populations.

PMID:
12063003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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