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Government commissions ten year health strategy

27 September 2011 - 6:20pm

2011 Australian of the Year, Simon McKeon has been selected to chair a review of Australia's medical research efforts.

Following the review, he will recommend a ten-year health and medical research strategy to ensure that the country continues to make developments that can benefit all Australians.

McKeon will lead a panel of esteemed experts, including professors and heads of national health research bodies.

The last time a review of this nature was conducted was over a decade ago and the government believes that further consultation and progress is needed.

Australia's health landscape has changed much in the last ten years, with developments in a range of medical treatments, the delivery of prescription medicine and an increase in the number of Australians covered by private health insurance.

Acting Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler says: "As a world leader in health and medical research and as a country blessed with wealth and resources, Australia has the potential to solve current and emerging health challenges, at home and overseas."

The decade-long strategy aims to adapt to the contemporary research and development sector and focus on the new age of health concerns.

Butler cites the shift in focus towards chronic disease and mental health as one example of where attention needs to be pointed in the near future.