Prescriptions for the Medical Research Future Fund

The MRFF needs a new five-year strategy, the MRI peak body has ideas

The Association of Medical Research Institutes’ proposals include,

* the National Health and Medical Research Council join with the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, which oversights the MRFF, to create an “overarching” health and medical research strategy, including research workforce planning

* a means to identify emerging health service and research needs, including consultation with stakeholders

* a research translation plan for MRFF priority areas

There’s also one that’s really hard to argue with, “make strong investments in infectious disease research, drug development, and new technologies.”

So does the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

The ATSE likes plenty of the present priorities and wants four new ones,

* climate change impacts: “proactive approaches to improving the health system’s capacity to adapt to and mitigate its impacts”

* women’s health: “chronically under-studied … creating a strong potential market globally with pharmaceutical and medical technology targeted to their particular health needs”

* future health services: digital transformation, “to avoid retrofitting health systems and services to meet the demand”

* resilience: “COVID-19 has exposed and exaggerated weaknesses in health services and systems, from staffing and skills to supply chains”