The federal government must commit funding to build a world-class medical research centre in Launceston.
The Clifford Craig Foundation has been leading medical research in Tasmania for three decades, and its proposed research and innovation centre would ensure Launceston remains at the forefront of medical research along with capitalising on the many benefits that would bring. It would also enable an appropriately sized and funded research department for both the North and North West.
“A world-class research and innovation centre would set a platform for the attraction, recruitment and retention of top line medical professionals, researchers, technicians, academics and students to the Launceston and North West areas,” says St.LukesHealth CEO Paul Lupo. “Aside from direct patient outcome benefits in the short and long term, it would also provide an immeasurable boost to the formation of health policy, particularly within a regional context, and build on Northern Tasmania’s reputation for learning and health excellence.”
A dedicated research and innovation centre with the resources to increase both the quantity and quality of medical research would:
- Put Launceston on the map with a renowned research and training precinct, making the region a top choice for clinicians in a competitive market.
- Attract further research investment and employment to rural and regional Tasmania.
- Allow clinicians to conduct truly local research, targeted to patient needs and leading to a real healthcare improvement in north and northwest Tasmania.
“The importance of having a cutting-edge research and innovation centre should not be underestimated when it comes to the recruitment of top line medical specialists. The Clifford Craig Health Research and Innovation Centre will be the critical third pillar, working in tandem with the expanded LGH masterplan and proposed Calvary co-located private hospital. The centre will ensure the best clinicians come to practice in these state-of-the-art facilities, enhancing the quality of regional healthcare as well as ensuring the best possible health policy development.”
Dr Jerome Muir Wilson
Managing Director, Launceston Health Hub
A world-class research centre will also help draw more desperately-needed general practitioners to Tasmania’s north. Regional GPs are in high demand, and we’re competing with national and international markets to attract them. Leading GPs want to help not only the patient in front of them, but also the population at large through research opportunities. Clifford Craig’s proposed Health Research and Innovation Centre would be a major point of difference, setting us apart from other regional centres.
There is currently no dedicated GP research centre in Tasmania. However, most of the healthcare we receive doesn’t happen in hospital: 90% of Tasmanians will see their GP each year. We badly need Tasmanian-specific general practice research to help us better understand local health needs and improve the state’s health outcomes.
This is especially critical in terms of preventative healthcare: studies done in a Sydney institute don’t translate to a regional Tasmanian setting. We know early intervention and access are so important, but we don’t have the research capacity to know where to focus local preventative healthcare efforts. The Clifford Craig Health Research and Innovation Centre would be a gamechanger to this end, addressing health issues early and keeping more people from ever needing hospital treatment.
Tasmania already has a good track record on training GPs. We have a retention rate of around 80% for GPs who train in the state, with pass marks up around 90%, well and truly above the national 75% average. The Clifford Craig Health and Innovation Centre is the missing piece of the puzzle in attracting and retaining further GPs, providing research opportunities that would be valuable for the whole state.