Cash no cure-all for SA med research

The South Australian Productivity Commission says the state’s share of medical research funding has declined and there are all sorts of reasons why. Two stand out

They are governance issues with the state’s Health and Medical Research Institute and a flawed model for working with the state’s three public universities and public health system.

The commission makes its case in a report on HMR in the state.

SAHMRI was established to arrest the decline in South Australia’s share of national research funding. While it has achieved some important successes to date, … it has been challenged by conflicts in its objectives and membership model and by flaws in the business model for medical research institutes (MRI) more generally,” SAPC states.

And no, it is not all about money; “the Commission considers the case for new money to be invested in HMR – argued for by many inquiry participants – has not been made. Instead the focus needs to be on freeing resources through efficiencies by eliminating duplication, cutting complexity and creating additional dedicated time for clinician research.”

And if that does not upset some at SAHMRI one of the options to fix things might– merge with either Uni Adelaide or Uni SA (both, unlike Flinders U are nearby).

It’s a classic of the productivity commission genre – well-argued, evidence-rich, and solution-focused but not much fussed by political practicalities.