The Liberal-Nationals Government is investing $100 million to improve the health of Australians in rural, remote and regional areas through access to innovative clinical trials.
Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, welcomed the announcement with country Victorians facing barriers to taking part in clinical trials including distance, geographical isolation, cultural difference and workforce capacity.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, in announcing the news, said the investment would save and protect lives.
“Clinical trials are a significant contributor to advancing new drugs, medical devices and
treatments. These trials will lead to better health for singles, families and communities.”
Minister for Regional Services Mark Coulton added almost a third of Australians live in rural, regional and remote areas, and rural and remote communities have significantly worse health outcomes, and shorter life expectancies,
“People in rural, remote and regional areas should not be disadvantaged when it comes to accessing trials, purely because of where they live.”
The Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure Program will seek to remove barriers to participating in clinical trials by:
- improving facilities, equipment, services and systems in rural, regional and remote Australia;
- reducing the burden, costs and risks for patients and their families related to clinical trial
- rncreasing research capacity.
“This investment is further evidence of the Nationals in government's commitment to country Australians and is terrific news for regional Victorians including those in the north-east,” Senator McKenzie said.
“These clinical trials are a huge step forward and show the government is working hard to provide world-class health services to all Australians, no matter where they live.”
This contestable program, funded under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), is all about ensuring patients can access clinical trials where they live.