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The joint ANU-Flinders University NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence was launched by former Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard. The Centre, which is funded for 5 years, will be devoted to studying how government policies shape how healthy we are, how long we live and how this differs depending on who we are. It will also have a special focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
While launching the Centre the Hon Julia Gillard asked “Why isn’t more of what we do focused on prevention?” She went on to note that “Whilst inputs are often easily measured – how many dollars did we invest, how many hospital beds did we fund – often our outcomes aren’t so easily measured – do people have the help they need, did we prevent someone from needing help in the first place, will our treatments help ensure they won’t be back in the emergency room tomorrow?” The CRE will be asking such questions and also investigating how policies in sectors such as trade, urban planning and primary health care can be devised to stop people getting sick in the first place. The CRE will be co-directed by Prof Sharon Friel (RegNet, ANU) and Prof Fran Baum (Southgate Institute). Other key ANU academics include Professor Adrian Kay (Crawford School of Public Policy); and Associate Professor Lyndall Strazdins (NCEPH). The launch is available for viewing on the Flinders University website.