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New research fund targets health priorities

New research fund targets health priorities

New Zealand’s 21 District Health Boards have established a $6M health research fund to address key knowledge gaps for DHBs.

The DHB Health Research Fund (DHBRF) will be administered by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC), who will also co-invest in a number of the contracts.

The DHBRF will support and promote the translation of research findings into evidence based health services for improved health outcomes.

In announcing the establishment of the DHBRF, the Minister of Health, Hon Annette King says:

"This Government's strong commitment to health research investment reflects the importance we place on research as one of the keys to transforming the New Zealand economy and society. Our population is unique, and we have unique needs in terms of healthcare - needs that must initially be addressed by our own health researchers," she says.

"This new research fund will assist in identifying knowledge needs and in delivering research that will be translated into practice. The HRC will also use these partnerships to keep DHBs informed of the latest research in priority areas. “

Ms King says as a nation, we need to improve the links between researchers and the people working at the front end of the health system – the health practitioners – to ensure that new knowledge arising from research translates to real improvements in health sector practice.

The first objective of the project will be to identify research initiatives that align with DHB priorities. Once a theme and researchable questions have been agreed a Request for Proposals will be released.

HRC Chief Executive, Dr Bruce Scoggins, says the HRC is delighted with the establishment of this new fund and the partnership opportunities it provides.

“It has the potential to deliver positive health outcomes for the health of New Zealanders,” he says.

“The HRC’s administration of the research monies and our prioritisation processes and rigorous peer review system for proposal assessment are important elements of the partnership,” says Dr Scoggins.

The Governance Group has begun consultation with its member DHBs and it is anticipated that the fund will support between six and eight research programmes over the next three years.

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