Treatment of cancer in small island communities is frequently challenged by the isolation and scattered nature of target populations, limited economic resources and overburdened healthcare systems. Strategies that have been successful in improving access to nonsurgical treatment in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and West Timor include balancing centralised location of scarce resources (particularly health professionals) with minimisation of patient travel, in-country training by teams of oncology professionals from high-income countries (HICs), sending health professionals to train in HICs, sharing and adaptation of treatment protocols, and telehealth initiatives. A common feature of successful initiatives is a collaborative approach. Cancer service design and implementation needs to be led by local health professionals with the collaboration of local health authorities and government. There is greater scope for collaboration between low- and middle-income countries and for the use of virtual meetings, distance learning, and remote technical support.
- delivery of health care
- developing countries