In May 2016 the Ministry of Health led the development of a Health Research Strategy for NZ and published this discussion document seeking submissions.
This was a welcome initiative, but even more welcome was the recent injection of funds into health research by the government. Past commitment to health research has been in serious decline for many years, such that the development of the strategy would have been a token exercise without those additional funds to support it. Fortunately, we seem to have turned the corner and now have government putting much need funds into health research.
My submission on the strategy concentrated on several key points that I consider important for a truly vibrant health research sector in NZ:
· The need for a sustainable funding path for health research in New Zealand.
· Workforce promotion and continuity of opportunities for health researchers.
· Building a research culture in all areas of health services.
· Problems with conservative peer review and the need to support innovation and creativity among researchers.
· The need for an equitable distribution of research funds across all areas of health need.
Here are the detailed responses to the Ministry’s questions, in my submission on the strategy.