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Australian health centres receive international recognition

30 March, 2015

Four Australian health centres have been recognised as being among the best in the world for improving patient care through medical research.

An international panel of judges have recognised the centres as National Health and Medical Research Council Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres and world leaders in medical research that result in improved treatments.

The Minister for Health Sussan Ley said NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres bring hospitals, universities and medical research institutes to work more closely together.

"The four Australian centres join those from across the globe including Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) and Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) at the pinnacle of international best practice," Ley said.

Research excellence

"These centres excel in research, they excel at turning evidence into excellent patient care, and they have a strong focus on training health professionals to do that research translation."

Ley said the opportunities and benefits that medical research provides Australia highlight the importance of the Government's commitment to the Medical Research Future Fund.

"Sydney Health Partners are a great example of the world-leading practices of these centres through research they have completed into IV drips for critically ill patients in emergency departments and intensive care units.

Safe saline

"They found that saline, which costs $1.60 /litre, was just as effective as and possibly even safer than another solution, which costs $332/litre.

"This discovery has improved patient outcomes and saves hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars a year."

The four successful centres, recognised as NHMRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres are:

  • South Australian Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre
  • Melbourne Health Care Partners Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre
  • Alfred Health and Monash Health and Partners Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre
  • Sydney Health Partners Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

Three others are acknowledged as moving quickly towards becoming a NHMRC Centre:

  • Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre
  • Sydney Alliance for Health Research and Training Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre
  • Western Australia Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said the work of these three centres so far was incredibly impressive and that they were operating very successfully.

"I imagine these three are not far from being at the same standard as the four recognised today," Professor Anderson said.

An eighth centre, Hunter Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, was a particularly strong regional model and impressed the panel by demonstrating research-based models of care that reflected the needs of the communities it serves.

The announcement follows NHMRC's call for applications last year that resulted in 12 submissions being received.

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