ACTA welcomes $1.89b investment in Australian health and medical research including support for a National One Stop Shop

Topics:ACTA Members Advocacy

On behalf of the members of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA), we congratulate the Albanese Government’s 2 May 2024 announcement of a $1.89billion investment towards Australian health and medical research through its new ‘Health Research for a Future Made in Australia’ package.

As the peak body representing over 10,000 individuals involved in Australian clinical trials and medical research including through Clinical Trial Networks, Clinical Quality Registries, Clinical Trial Coordinating Centres, and Site Research Organisations, we see this announcement as an acknowledgment of the significant work and expertise of our members and indeed all who are involved in the broader national healthcare sector. 

ACTA Chair, Prof Chris Reid, said, this package presents a unique opportunity to focus and fortify sector efforts toward the shared goal of embedding clinical trials into the routine delivery of health care providing better health outcomes for patients.

“Medical research, including through clinical trials, is the backbone of the global healthcare system as it is research that builds the evidence base to be able to make the best clinical decisions.”

“This strategy will ensure the Australian healthcare system is best placed to improve research equality and patient outcomes through easier access to trials, increased funding for trialists, and the establishment of innovative and robust systems and processes,” Prof Reid said.

ACTA support additional, aligned, and targeted research funding opportunities

Each day, thousands of researchers within research institutions, healthcare providers, and universities are undertaking vital and life impacting health and medical research. The additional and targeted funding that will be delivered as part of this strategy and provided through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) will further enable and nurture these researchers and encourage greater collaboration with clinical teams, industry, and consumers.

ACTA support the National One Stop Shop

As long-term supporters and advocates for the National One Stop Shop, we are delighted to see this initiative moving into the next phase of development under the leadership of Em Prof Ian Chubb AC. This initiative brings great potential to simplify the clinical trial review and approvals processes, which will ultimately improve trial access for patients and further strengthen Australia’s position as a destination of choice for clinical trials.

ACTA support a health system built on equality

In 2023, we published a set of recommendations to improve cultural and linguistic diversity in clinical trials, and we recognised that many of these recommendations also held true for improving trial access for other priority populations. We see great potential for these recommendations to form part of the work of the ‘Reducing Health Inequalities Mission’ and we are encouraged by the Government’s commitment to improve healthcare equality for all.

We see this as an important step toward optimising the Australian health and medical research landscape, and we look forward to working with The Hon Mark Butler MP, the Department, and Em Prof Ian Chubb AC, to connect our members into the development of the National Health and Medical Research Strategy and its associated projects. 

We look forward to providing our members with additional updates on this strategy as it progresses.