Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) director, Professor Frank Gannon, has welcomed the highly-anticipated McKeon Review consultation paper, which devises a 10-year strategy for health and medical research in Australia.
Professor Gannon said the paper’s recommendations align closely with QIMR’s operations, by highlighting better health through research and embedding research in the health system.
Key recommendations of the consultation paper, released today include:
- Increasing State and Federal government health funding for research by at least 3%, providing an extra $2-3 billion per year by mid 2023.
- Establishing a national network of Integrated Health Research Centres to combine hospital networks, universities and medical research institutes to help translate discoveries into better treatment.
- Creating up to 1000 “competitive practitioner fellowships” for doctors, which would let them devote half of their time to research.
- Supporting focused research based on priorities of immediate clinical relevance to Australians, and in key areas such as indigenous health, rural and remote health, and application of genomics to personalised medicine.
- Maintaining research excellence by making research a more attractive career path.
- Providing clear pathways to translate research evidence into clinical practice.
Professor Gannon, who made a submission to the Review calling for many of the above recommendations, said the consultation paper was an important step forward.
“These recommendations reflect the pressing need for better and relevant medical research in this country, to provide the best medical care for its citizens, and local job security for its brightest,” Professor Gannon said.
“Fulfilling these recommendations will require more funding for research but, as identified in the report, this is the only way to achieve a better return on health investment to Australians.
“Of course, injecting up to $3 billion more into the annual research budget is a huge commitment, but it is our responsibility to maintain and improve the health of Australians and our global neighbours.
“QIMR is all about research with consequences; this consultation paper reflects our commitment to translating discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside.”
Releasing the document, panel chairman and 2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon said: “We must embed research into healthcare, so government research investment benefits all Australians through better health outcomes.”