$22m to support health and medical research

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Six Australian health and medical researchers are reportedly set to receive a share of $21.9 million, to further ground-breaking research that will improve health and treatment outcomes for Australians and their families.

The Morrison Government is investing $5.6 million to support five projects through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project scheme.

The research projects have also attracted more than $16.3 million from more than 60 funding partners, bringing the total to $21.9 million.

The Partnership Project scheme provides funding for researchers and partner organisations to work together to define research questions and undertake the research, which can lead to break throughs in treatment and prevention.

The University of Sydney, who will receive $1.2 million through the scheme, is working with the aged-care industry to improve the independence and safety of older people living with dementia in care homes. Their project will promote the implementation of person-centred support to dementia care in aged care homes.

Working with AIDS organisations, government health departments and peak bodies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island health and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, researchers at the University of New South Wales will receive $1.2 million to identify the barriers to the uptake of HIV prevention and treatment programs in Australia.

The project links HIV diagnoses from 1997-2025 with nine other national datasets to track and analyse missed clinical opportunities for HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake and usage, HIV treatment uptake and adherence, and HIV-related morbidity and mortality.

Outcomes from their research will be used to develop tailored HIV programs, to achieve the elimination of HIV transmission in Australia.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt says that by partnering researchers with organisations and experts in the field, means we can work together to achieve better health outcomes for Australians now and into the future.

“Australia continues to be at the forefront of medical research and these projects have the potential to increase not only our understanding of diseases, but to also revolutionise their treatment,” says Minister Hunt.

“Our Government continues to provide unprecedented support to health and medical research, as we back our best and brightest researchers to transform today’s ideas into breakthrough treatments for the patients of tomorrow.”

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO welcomes the additional support of all partners.

“The participation and support from partners are key to the success of these projects, enabling the research, ensuring it meets real-world needs and then applying the outcomes,” she says.

The Morrison Government is also providing $1 million to Macquarie University to support research into the chronic symptoms associated with exposure to mould and biotoxins to improve diagnosis, treatment and the management of symptoms.

This research will study both affected individuals and healthy controls, examining their blood, urine and sweat, along with other tests such as brain scans and environmental testing in their homes. This will help identify appropriate diagnostic tests that doctors can use.

The funding is provided through the NHMRC Targeted Call for Research into Biotoxin-related Illnesses and delivers on the Morrison Government’s commitment in response to the Inquiry into Biotoxin-related Illnesses in Australia.

Investing in health and medical research is said to be a key priority of the Morrison Government’s Long Term National Health Plan.