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New agreement to benefit health sector

New agreement to benefit health sector

A multi-million dollar agreement announced today will help provide the science behind helping New Zealanders live longer, healthier and more independent lives.

The new contract confirms the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) as the preferred supplier of scientific services to the Ministry of Health and is worth more than $80m over its 5 years and seven months term.

ESR Chief Executive Officer Graham Smith says the new contract was signed after a thorough and in-depth negotiation and now consolidates ESR’s position as the national reference lab for human health.

“We’ve always had a productive relationship with the Ministry but this is a very significant agreement and different to any of our previous contracts with them.

“Locking in long-term revenue on this scale gives us operational certainty, which means we can invest in people and equipment with confidence and underpin the work vital to public health including influenza surveillance programmes.

“The unique part of this agreement is that we now have an additional layer of strategic co-operation which gives us the opportunity to develop, drive and lead national health initiatives in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

“For example we are leading an Anti - Microbial Resistance initiative which will provide better surveillance of existing and emerging superbugs in New Zealand,” Mr Smith says.

The Ministry's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Don Mackie, says that for many years, ESR has provided scientific advice and services that directly assists the Ministry in improving, promoting and protecting the health of all New Zealanders.

“We know that we need automated surveillance to enable early detection, rapid characterisation, and timely continuous monitoring of urgent public health threats.

“This agreement provides a platform for the Ministry and ESR's relationship to flourish, giving us a solid foundation in this crucial area,” Dr Mackie says.

ENDS

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