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$10 million boost for health research into diseases

19 June, 2006

The Commonwealth Government has announced a boost of $9.8 million for health research into chronic diseases, Indigenous health and the recovery process of older Australians who have been hospitalised.

Four substantial projects have been funded, with grants ranging from $600,000 to $3.5 million. The grants have been awarded under the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Health Services Research Program. The aim of the program is to support research projects which will improve health outcomes national priority areas.

A team from the University of Sydney and the Australian National University, led by Professor Stephen Leeder, has been awarded $3.5 million over five years to research cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The aim is to implement strategies for better prevention, management and care for Australians with, or at serious risk of contracting these chronic illnesses.

Associate Professor Ian Cameron's team from the University of Sydney, Flinders University and the University of Queensland has been awarded $2.9 million over five years to investigate the impact on older Australians and their carers of the transition from hospital care to community and residential care. The team will develop new models for high quality and cost effective systems of care.

Dr Alan Cass and his team from the University of Sydney, the George Institute of International Health, the Menzies School of Health Research and six Aboriginal Medical Service sites in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory will use a $2.8 million grant over five years to research ways to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal Australians with chronic diseases. The study will focus on identifying existing health system barriers and developing ways to overcome them.

Professor Stephen Duckett from the University of Queensland, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, has been awarded $600,000 over five years to chart the changes in service delivery and type of care used by older Australians with chronic conditions such as dementia, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

The Federal Government's investment in health and medical research through the NHMRC is more than $490 million this year, more than double the 1999 figure. Australia is a world leader in health and medical research - on a per capita basis, our research output is twice the OECD average.

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