26 September 2023

NSW and ACT partner to boost regional health

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NSW Health has teamed up with its counterpart in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Australian Government to improve access to innovative healthcare in rural and regional communities by bringing clinical trials to the bush.

The partnership Rural, Regional, and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Program, is to establish an expanded network of new clinical trial units across the regional local health districts of Northern, Western, and Southern NSW.

Medical Director of the Program at the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research, Dr John Lawson said the program would fund infrastructure initiatives to address the barriers to research in rural areas, such as geographic isolation, lack of clinical trials workforce, and clinical skills and capacity.

“The program will be incredibly beneficial to patients and ensures rural and regional communities will have access to the latest clinical developments usually only available in metropolitan sites,” Dr Lawson said.

“In addition, it will increase options through a model which brings clinical trials closer to the rural community,” he said.

“With this significant investment for innovative approaches to healthcare, we are ensuring equitable access to care for our communities in the bush and improving their health outcomes and quality of life by enabling earlier access to new treatments and therapies.”

Dr Lawson said the clinical trial support units and improved infrastructure would address the particular health needs of rural people and provide valuable evidence to contribute to future medical research.

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