A MULTI MI L L I ON- DOLLAR clinical research facility will be up and running at Townsville Hospital early next year.
The Townsville Institute of Clinical Research will be funded using $ 5 million from a retained surplus of the Hospital and Health Service, further enhancing the reputation of the hospital as a major teaching and research hub.
Townsville Hospital and Health Board chair Tony Mooney said the facility would keep North Queensland at the cutting edge of clinical research.
“I am extremely proud that the board’s sound financial management has resulted in giving us the flexibility to use surplus funds to further support the development of Townsville as a leader in health research,” Mr Mooney said.
“We know that demand for health services is increasing year on year and a strong research focus is important to find new and innovative ways to meet the challenge of increased demand.”
Townsville Hospital and Health Service director of clinical research Professor Damon Eisen said the institute would become the new home for the research ethics team, the medical education support unit and research educators from both the Townsville Hospital and James Cook University.
The new facilities will allow for 10 to 15 projects to happen at any one time as the hospital continues to allocate funding to clinical researchers upon application.
Foetal medicine specialist Dr David Watson said being awarded research funding was like gold for the clinicians.
“The facility will allow us the resources needed to run our project ideas once funding has been approved,” Dr Watson said.
The institute will also further enhance the working partnership between the THHS and James Cook University, in line with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two co- located organisations in July this year.
Mr Mooney said the new institute would make the hospital a more attractive job prospect.
“We always have a challenge trying to attract and retain good staff as the very good clinicians like to think they have ability to do research to advance their careers,” he said.