Northern Tasmania is one step closer to securing a dedicated health research centre, five years after a business case was first put to the state government.
On the eve of the election, the Liberal party committed to commencing the development a memorandum of understanding with the Clifford Craig Foundation within 30 days of forming government.
Health Minister Sarah Courtney confirmed the MoU would form the basis of a partnership with the foundation, to establish a research and innovation centre on the Launceston General Hospital's main campus.
It would also serve to support additional clinical research across the state's North and North-West.
With a majority government secured, alongside the Liberal's commitment to fast-track Calvary's unsolicited bid for a co-located private hospital, Clifford Craig Foundation chairman Peter Milne said the commitments together were opportune.
"A research program and research innovation centre will help overcome a lot of the shortfalls that happen in regional communities and regional hospitals," he said.
"It will make the hospital, not only here but also Burnie, attractive - to attract clinicians to come and work here because they'll know there will be an active research and education program."
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The LGH's leading health promotion charity, the Clifford Craig Foundation first commissioned a report from KP Health in 2016 to establish a Northern Tasmanian Strategic Framework for Clinical Research.
Among its objectives was the need to improve access to new and emerging diagnostic and treatment options and to support clinical workforce recruitment and retention at the hospital.
The framework also identified the need for further investment, with clinicians reporting they conduct research with "little support" from the hospital.
However, after being endorsed by then Health Minister Michael Ferguson, passed on to then Health Department secretary Michael Pervan and backed up by a business case presented to the government, the report has sat dormant.
Now, with a Liberal majority secured Health Minister Sarah Courtney said the government recognised the importance of the foundation and medical research more broadly.
"The Clifford Craig Foundation plays a hugely important role within the Northern Tasmanian community to support local health services and recruitment," she said.
With the MoU in sight, Mr Milne said it represented the next step towards securing the future of medical research - particularly alongside the co-located bid.
"We now have a clear path to say 'let's sit down and work out how it's going to happen, who will be involved and what the process will be," he said.
"It's very opportune, because research happening here at this hospital site will really depend also on both public and private hospitals. It brings all participants into a research project and makes it far more robust."
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