Boost to Practical Medical Research in Regional NSW

Patients in regional NSW, including people suffering from anxiety and depression, will soon directly benefit from an injection of Australian Government funds into health and medical research.

Page last updated: 29 June 2017

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29 June 2017

Patients in regional NSW, including people suffering from anxiety and depression, will soon directly benefit from an injection of Coalition Government funds into health and medical research.

Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie, today visited the Hunter Medical Research Institute to announce three achievements which recognise the high quality of medical research being conducted in the Hunter.

These were:

    • National Health and Medical Research Council accreditation of a Hunter region collaboration, NSW Regional Health Partners, as one of Australia’s first Centres for Innovation in Regional Health (CIRHs);
    • a seed grant of $225,000 to NSW Regional Health Partners under the Medical Research Future Fund’s $10 million Rapid Applied Research Translation program; and
    • a one-off grant of $5 million to the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, in collaboration with the Black Dog Institute.
“These three exciting announcements all relate to the Government’s focus on ensuring that patients receive the benefits of health and medical research, as quickly as possible,” Minister Gillespie said.

“Making health care more effective for people is the aim of all health and medical research, and these developments ensure that the Hunter and regional NSW is right at the forefront of this trend.”

Centres for Innovation in Regional Health are one of two types of collaborative research organisations which will receive funding from the Medical Research Future Fund.

The accreditation as a CIRH was based on the research hub’s achievements in health and medical research, research translation, research-infused education and training, and outstanding health care in a regional and/or remote setting.

“The aim of CIRHs is to encourage leadership in health research and translation of direct relevance and benefit to regional and remote areas of Australia,” Minister Gillespie said.

“As a rural doctor myself, I am particularly pleased by the CIRH initiative. This new focus on regions in research is a big step forward, and meshes with other reforms the Government has under way to boost rural and regional health.”

The seed funding to the CIRH will allow it to engage nationally and position itself for future investment under the MRFF.

The funding the Hunter Institute will receive as part of its collaboration with the Black Dog Institute will be used to translate research findings into improved and innovative service delivery for people with anxiety and depression.

It is part of a $15 million national investment in mental health research delivered in last month’s federal Budget.

“Research and innovation save lives and play an essential role in health system improvement,” Minister Gillespie said.

“The Coalition Government is making a bigger contribution to Australian health and medical research and innovation than ever before.”

For more information, contact the Minister's Office on (02) 6277 4960
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