The Government has taken a major step towards ensuring health research in New Zealand brings maximum benefit to all New Zealanders.
Today’s joint announcement from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) centres on a Prioritisation Framework which for the first time sets out a national vision for health research that will guide all government investment in this country and help coordinate research efforts across the sector.
‘This is a paradigm shift,’ says Dr Ian Town, Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Health. ‘It’s a hugely important piece of work which has significant implications for health research in New Zealand.
‘It’s all about asking why we’re embarking on specific research programmes and asking how these programmes are going to benefit our communities.
‘It’ll drive clearer roles and responsibilities and, ultimately, that means better health for individuals, whānau and communities.’
Dr Peter Crabtree, GM Science, Innovation and International for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says, ‘The new framework is a key part of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy (NZHRS) which aims to build a world-leading health research and innovation system that improves the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.’
Under the new framework, researchers applying for government funding will need to:
- address why their research is important to New Zealand
- consider mana tāngata and advancing Māori health
- meet the criteria of excellence
- ensure their research has the best chance of delivering impact
- include measures to improve health equity.
Dr Patricia Anderson, Chief Advisor Policy and Strategy at the Health Research Council says, ‘We’ve had great cross-sector support for the framework, with a wide range of stakeholders, two national public consultation processes, 10 regional workshops, and two cross-government hui.
‘There’s been feedback from health researchers, research funders, NGOs, government agencies, primary health organisations, clinicians and allied health professionals, and Māori, Pacific and disability representatives.’
Implementing the NZHRS and the Prioritisation Framework is the joint responsibility of MBIE, the Ministry of Health and the HRC. Further engagement with research funders and providers will take place in the new year.
Details of the framework are available to download from the HRC website.