Radiation Oncology Facilities in Turkey: Current Status and Future Perspectives


Background and purpose: An analysis of the current radiotherapy status in Turkey was conducted to establish a comprehensive baseline. Turkey’s future demand analysis in view of international benchmarks was conducted. Moreover, the ministerial plans are shared to present an example for making a comprehensive planning in developing countries.
Methods: The data from all radiotherapy centers in Turkey was collected through a survey and cross-checked with primary research and government data. Survey covered the status of radiotherapy centers in terms of major equipment and personnel. Data regarding manpower currently working is obtained from relevant academic centers and occupational associations.
Results: The latest ministerial registry data demonstrated 150,000 new cancer cases each year with 400,000 patients living with cancer in Turkey. Around 100,000 patients are estimated to need radiotherapy each year - a figure expected to reach around 170,000 by 2023. The current numbers for radiotherapy centers, megavoltage equipment, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and radiotherapy technicians are 90, 186, 446, 130 and 600 respectively. By 2023, Turkey will need around 680 radiation oncologists, 624 medical physicists, 2,650 radiotherapy technicians and 379 megavoltage machines.
Conclusion: Turkey faces a slight oversupply of radiation oncologists in contrast to undersupply in megavoltage machines and other personnel. Careful planning is required to allocate limited resources. The purchase of the equipment and employment policies should be structured as part of national cancer control program.