As required by the Act, the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board has finalised the inaugural Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016-2021 (the Strategy) and the accompanying Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018 (the Priorities). These documents were registered with the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 9 November 2016 and subsequently announced by the Minister for Health and Aged Care on the same day.
The Strategy and Priorities will be used by the Government to guide decision making around disbursements under the MRFF.
The MRFF Advisory Board consulted widely across the sector and broader community and the feedback received has been used to develop six strategic platforms that underpin the Strategy. One of the strategic platforms is Health services and system and states:
"Health services and systems research seeks more affordable models of healthcare and innovative evidence-based approaches to treatment, prevention, diagnosis and the management of disease. It combines clinical, public and population health disciplines with economics, and behavioural and implementation science. This form of research is often embedded in healthcare delivery to maximise translation by engaging actual clinicians.
The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of many routinely used health interventions are not known and/or not proven. Healthcare professionals continue to undertake activities that are suspected to be of little benefit in place of, or alongside, proven effective interventions. Research delivering new methods that avoid wasteful interventions, adopt best practice and foster information exchange will allow clinicians to benchmark with peers and lead to continuous quality improvement.
Equally important is an appreciation of the impact of location (urban, regional and remote), culture, and socio-economics on healthcare access and outcomes. Close collaboration is also required with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian health stakeholders, including the community controlled sector, to ensure Indigenous Australians are engaged in research process and design, and that research is utilised to Close the Gap.
Adequate numbers of healthcare professionals with training in clinical research are critical to ensuring meaningful service and system performance and the MRFF can make a significant contribution in building this capacity."
The Priorities includes: