COLLABORATION

Australian partnership boosts health policy-making with academic research

SOURCE: Hush Naidoo/Unsplash
Policy-makers in the health sector will be able to gain from ANU's extensive research expertise.

An agreement between The Australian National University (ANU) and the Department of Health will set the stage for the nation’s health sector by linking policy-makers with the institution’s teaching, learning and research. 

The partnership will entail joint projects for knowledge exchange that will provide education, training and skills development to Australian health policy-makers as well as provide opportunities for internships, secondments and joint appointments. 

An MOU was signed by ANU Provost Professor Mike Calford and Secretary of the Department of Health Glenys Beauchamp. 

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According to Professor Calford, this agreement is a prime example of ANU’s commitment to improving society and public policy. 

“For decades ANU has served the nation as an exceptional training ground for our nation’s policy-makers,” he said.

“This new agreement will continue that fine tradition and important mission. It will help train those who are shaping the policies that shape the health of our nation, and equip them with the skills, knowledge and expertise to deliver better outcomes for all Australians.”

ANU’s academic expertise will serve as a good support system to equip policy-makers with the know-how to tackle the latest health issues in society. 

“This new MoU will strengthen the relationship the Department of Health has with the research community and ensure researchers and policy-makers work closer together to deliver better health outcomes for millions of Australians,” said Beauchamp. 

Health Policy
The agreement will help policy-makers make more well-informed decisions. Source: Helloquence/Unsplash.

The partnership has been driven by ANU College of Health and Medicine Dean Professor Russell Gruen. 

He explained that the new agreement will build upon the university’s substantial investment in health research, teaching and expertise. 

“But more importantly, this is also an investment in the health of Australia and Australians,” added Gruen.

“It will help embed the breadth and depth of ANU expertise, research and teaching across all fields of health within the Department…And it will make sure ANU researchers and experts work closely with health policy-makers -learning from their experiences and observations from the frontline of health policy-making and delivery.”

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The partnership will aim to ready policy-makers in making strategic decisions within the health sector. This is timely due to the recent health emergency that swept the nation as a result of the Australian bushfires. 

The climate emergency resulted in many cases of respiratory diseases and hospitalisation cases. However, the long-term health effects of bushfire smoke remain unknown. 

With the help of the academic research expertise in ANU, the department of health will be able to have a clear idea of policies and measures to take when faced with a similar health emergency in the future.