- Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University set to receive $18m in funding for joint medical research institute
- Federal Government announces the funding, to be used for the establishment of the Institute for Regional, Rural and Remote Health and Medical Research
- The Institute is a crucial link between regional medical school and delivery of health solutions for regional communities
Charles Sturt University (CSU) and Western Sydney University (WSU) welcome the announcement by the Federal Government of funding for the joint CSU and WSU Institute for Regional, Rural and Remote Health and Medical Research.
During last night’s Budget it was announced that $18 million in funding would be provided to support the Institute, which will form part of the CSU-WSU Joint Program in Medicine.
The Institute will provide the linkage between current health and medical research in regional, rural and remote Australia with the delivery of health and medical higher education programs and the delivery of medical teaching and learning through the Joint Medical Program.
CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said the funding was a win for rural and regional Australians and solidifies the importance of access to the same quality of health and medical services that city-based Australians have.
“This funding is a critical step in improving the provision of health services to rural and regional Australians,” Professor Vann said.
“With the Joint Program in Medicine currently being established, the Institute for Regional, Rural and Remote Health and Medical Research will deliver the crucial research that will not only continue to improve the training of rural medical practitioners but deliver discoveries that will create long term change for the health of Australians who live in the country.”
Western Sydney University’s Dean of the School of Medicine, Distinguished Professor Annemarie Hennessy AM, said rural research is critical for the success of the new Joint Medical Program.
“Funding for rural and regional health and medical research is the only way that a new rural-based, end-to-end medical program can succeed – both to meet the requirements for the very best medical training and to improve health care in the bush,” said Distinguished Professor Hennessy.
“This significant investment is set to strengthen both institutions’ individual and shared research capacity and will lead to important advances in health care.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Development and Industry Professor Heather Cavanagh said the Institute would focus on critical health outcomes urgently needed by rural and regional Australians.
“Successful rural health research requires solutions that are located in rural locations involving rural people,” Professor Cavanagh said.
“This is achieved by bringing the best of our researchers into our communities to address local problems.
“To achieve meaningful change in rural health outcomes we must seed opportunities by investing in the infrastructure and people that will enable such a vision to be realised."
Professor Cavanagh said the Institute would, in conjunction with the Joint Program in Medicine, be focused on delivery of outcomes including: improving child developmental outcomes; supporting ageing and aged care; boosting rural health and medical research capability; enhancing clinical researcher infrastructure in regional areas; expanding health and medical service delivery; and addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health inequity.
Further, the Institute for Regional, Rural and Remote Health and Medical Research will develop and implement a research program which will focus on conducting rural health and medical research focused on primary care and consumer health; create significant research collaborations; deliver research training and development, provide rural health scholarships and develop academic and clinical partnerships.
Charles Sturt University in partnership with Western Sydney University is establishing a Joint Medical Program for the training and education of doctors in regional, rural and remote Australia. The Joint Medical Program will be delivered from Charles Sturt University’s campus in Orange, New South Wales, and encompass the Bathurst Clinical School of Western Sydney University.
The Charles Sturt University Orange campus is a specialist clinical health training campus, with professional entry courses encompassing Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Physiotherapy already being delivered onsite.
Charles Sturt University is an established educator of the rural health workforce and brings considerable depth of research experience in successfully addressing local problems and engaging local communities. The breadth of health disciplines at Charles Sturt University ensures multi-disciplinary solutions to the complex challenges of rural health.