On 1 February 2019, the Academy published a statement ahead the Federal Election, to set out our vision for how a future Government can further improve the lives of all Australians through health and medical science, while also advancing Australia’s international competitiveness and future prosperity.

The statement highlighted how research and innovation drive economic growth, create jobs and deliver societal benefits through the translation of research findings.

It particularly drew attention to the value of embedding resarch in the health system, so that findings can be more quickly translated into new innovations and practices, and patients benefit can from faster access to new treatments.

With health inequalities on the rise in Australia, especially in Indigenous communities, the Academy also called for a greater focus on prevention and public health. There have been concerted efforts to ‘Close the Gap’, with some success, but the gap remains and in some areas cases, it is widening – for example in mortality rates from cancer.

Australia is home to world-leading health and medical research and successive Governments have recognised the value of health and medical sciences.

The statement called on Government to act decisively to ensure that Australia remains competitive in the global context. The Academy identified five priorities to enable Government to drive prosperity and improve lives through health and medical science over the coming years:

  • Invest in health and medical sciences as part of a comprehensive research and innovation strategy to drive health, productivity and prosperity.
  • Foster a vibrant health and medical research environment that promotes cross-sector collaboration and attracts industry investment.
  • Embed research in the health system and streamline regulation to drive health outcomes and efficient services.
  • Harness the outcomes of health and medical science to improve the lives of all Australians and address health inequalities.
  • Cultivate a skilled, diverse and mobile workforce, fully equipped to embrace new technology and tackle future health challenges.

Read the Academy’s full statement and summary via the following links:

We also published a news item on the statement.