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Otago welcomes new government health research strategy

Thursday 22 June 2017

Otago welcomes new government health research strategy

The University of Otago welcomes the newly announced 10-year strategy for health research in New Zealand, and is pleased by the joined-up approach planned by ministries and agencies for putting it in place.

Otago Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie says Otago research has a proud record of contributing to improving the health of New Zealanders and people worldwide, and this new strategy will help enhance the University’s important work in this area.

“We are very pleased by the clear statements that health research in New Zealand has internationally recognised strengths, and that it is central to our national innovation system.”

“Examples of what we have achieved - and continue to make advances in - include our world-leading heart hormone studies that are now internationally guiding treatment of patients for the best outcomes after cardiac events, and new insights we have gained into the brain-related causes of infertility and how these might be overcome,” Professor Blaikie says.

Additionally, the focus on the health needs of Māori and Pacific peoples, and the acknowledgement of the investment required to meet these needs, are vital components of the strategy, he says.

The University warmly supports the strong involvement of the Health Research Council and the tertiary sector in the implementation of the priorities that are outlined in the strategy, together with the Ministries that jointly developed the strategy and other key agencies such as District Health Boards, he says.

The clear signal that the whole health sector should play a leading role in health research, including universities, private enterprise and philanthropic organisations, is also welcome, he adds.

“Investment to support the vision of a world-leading health research and innovation system is essential, and it is positive to see the strategy will require government investment in health research that matches public investment in the health system. We also recognise that increased funding for the Health Research Council, announced in Budget 2016, is a strong initial sign of commitment of Government to invest in supporting the Strategy.”


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