The Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, Senator Ken Wyatt today announced $6.1 million in funding over three years from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to support the West Australian Health Translation Network (WAHTN) to improve healthcare for West Australians through innovation, education and training.
“The WA Health Translation Network will work with health professionals, including frontline doctors and nurses, to identify areas of need and collaborate with expert researchers to find solutions tailored to patients.” said Minister Wyatt.
The announcement came at the fourth annual Science on the Swan conference, an early initiative of the WAHTN. “This welcome funding will allow for meaningful and hopefully long standing initiatives that will benefit all West Australians,” said Professor Gary Geelhoed, the WAHTN Executive Director.
The funding is part of the Commonwealth Government’s investment to support Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres (AHRTC) and Centres for Innovation and Regional Health (CIRH) to conduct rapid transformation research that delivers real solutions to health service challenges.
The MRFF Medical Research and Innovation Strategies and Priorities emphasises the need for collaborative, practical solutions to challenges in health system services and systems, data and infrastructure and clinical trials and commercialisation among others.
Working within this broader approach the WAHTN, as with all members of the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA), have priorities to improve clinical pathways, to address variation in clinical care using data linkage and improving health outcomes in vulnerable groups including those with chronic conditions, those towards the end of life and Indigenous groups.
The funding is in keeping with the recent WA Health Department’s Sustainable Health Review Direction number 9: Harness and support health and medical research, collaboration and innovation.
In June 2017, the WAHTN was recognised as an ARHTC by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The WAHTN brings together Western Australia’s major hospitals, private health care, medical research institutes and five universities to capitalise on recent investment in new facilities for health research, patient care and population well-being.
Since its inception WAHTN has created platforms that benefit the partners including a Clinical Trials and Data Centre (CTDC), the Research Education and Training Program (RETP), Consumer and Community Health Research Network (CCHRN) and the Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC).
“This funding will accelerate WAHTN promoting collaboration in WA among its many partners to undertake original research as well as to accelerate the application of new treatments.” said Professor Geelhoed.