Hopes high for $1m health precinct

ACADEMICS and health providers hope a $1 million-plus project to co-ordinate health research, education and practice will improve Tasmania's health services.

The University of Tasmania has been given initial funding of $1 million from the federal government to establish an academic health science precinct.

The precinct will co-ordinate the work of health researchers, educators, administrators and practitioners.

Project leader James Vickers said it would ensure that medical research discoveries benefited Tasmania's hospital and community patients quickly and efficiently.

The precinct will comprise the Health and Human Services Department, the three Tasmanian Health Organisations, Tasmanian Medicare Local, the University of Tasmania's Faculty of Health and the Menzies Research Institute of Tasmania.

"We aim to build and encourage networks through research activities, support research that focuses on the major health problems facing Tasmanians and promote research and workforce development that delivers direct health improvements across the state," Professor Vickers said.

"Many successful precincts are operating in other states and overseas, delivering major gains for their communities."

Professor Vickers said the precinct was expected to be fully operational by the end of August.

Precinct executive officer Helen Douglas said an external consultant's report, due in about a month, would outline exactly how they would bring the different organisations together.

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