Re­search wind­fall

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK

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.

STOKED: Foetal medicine spe­cial­ist David Watson and Townsville Hospi­tal board chair­man Tony Mooney in what will be­come the Townsville In­sti­tute of Clin­i­cal Re­search. Pic­ture: SHAE BEPLATE

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