Submission to the Inquiry into Australia’s Research Funding as conducted by the House Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Training
The George Institute welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Inquiry into the efficiency, effectiveness and coherency of Australian Government funding for research. Australia has a world leading track record health and medical research, recognising its fundamental role in improving health outcomes and creating a sustainable, quality health system for the benefit of all Australians. To ensure research can have the greatest impact, it is critical that the Government maximises the return on investment of every research dollar.
Submission to the Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia
Obesity is one of the greatest challenges facing Australian society, and our health system. Two thirds of Australian adults and one quarter of children are now overweight or obese. The fact that more than one million Australian children are of unhealthy weight is particularly concerning because they will face greatly increased future risks of serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. These conditions incur huge personal and economic costs on Australian families.
Recommendation on strengthening Australia’s clinical trials contribution and competitiveness
As an independent not-for-profit medical research institute that manages a major clinical trials research program, the key message of this recommendation is that any “Roadmap for Clinical Trials” must ensure that the health value of the clinical trials conducted in Australia is given at least as much emphasis as the financial value.
Recommendation on the Review of the National Innovation System
Recognising that the architecture of Australia’s existing national innovation system is now a generation old, the Institute welcomed the consideration of medical research as a key strength and source of innovation within Australia.
Recommendation on the Preventative Health Taskforce: Towards a National Primary Health Care Strategy
Australia’s first National Primary Health Care Strategy was tabled for discussion in early 2009. In response to this, the Institute recommended that serious consideration should be given to establishing a national health care innovation initiative.
Recommendation on the National Health and Hospital Reform: A Healthier Future for All Australians
Recommendations on developing a long-term health reform plan for Australia included adopting a rigorous research framework to provide decision-makers with irrefutable evidence about the impact of policy change on critical outcomes such as death, disability and hospital utilisation.
Recommendation on the discussion paper Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020
The Institute prepared two submissions regarding this discussion paper. The first outlined the role of obesity and its relationship as a risk factor for major chronic diseases, emphasising the need for reliable, large-scale evidence about the efficacy and safety of the strategies for population-wide weight loss. The second highlighted the need for an effective national strategy for the control of population blood pressure, particularly that of salt reduction.