Wednesday, 28 March 2018

New Centre of Research Excellence opened by Health Minister

(L) Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP; (R) Minister Hunt chats with Prof Buchbinder

The ANZMUSC Centre of Research Excellence was officially launched by the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for Health on Thursday 22nd March. The new NHMRC-funded Centre is based at the Cabrini Institute in Malvern and aims to improve musculoskeletal health through high quality collaborative research. 

The event was officiated by Dr Michael Walsh, CEO of Cabrini Health. Speakers included Professor Marc Parlange, Provost and Senior Vice-President of Monash University, and Dr Andrew Black, Director of Research Development and Collaboration in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at The University of Sydney. 

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, who chairs the ANZMUSC Executive Committee, outlined how the unit will contribute to improving musculoskeletal health through the Centre’s five major goals:  

  • to conduct high quality clinical trials for musculoskeletal conditions that address the most important evidence gaps; 
  • to advance the science of research translation and perform implementation trials to address the most important evidence-practice gaps in this field; 
  • to speed up the synthesis of research findings to guide practice by developing ‘living’ systematic reviews and ‘living’ recommendations for musculoskeletal health;
  • to build a highly skilled workforce of trained musculoskeletal clinical-trialists; 
  • and to nurture effective working collaborations and intellectual exchange both within and outside the network. 
Prof Buchbinder speaking to media
Musculoskeletal conditions affect over six million Australians and account for 12% of the total burden of disease in Australia. Arthritis alone currently costs the health system $5.5 billion annually, while low back pain alone costs $4.8 billion. Low back pain is the most common reason for premature retirement from work.

Mr Hunt officially opened the Centre and pointed out the enormous health and economic gains the Centre’s research stood to produce given the heavy burden posed by musculoskeletal conditions.

ANZMUSC includes over 215 leading and emerging clinician-researchers members from over 20 disciplines and over 20 universities and research institutes across Australia and New Zealand. It has strong support from consumers and consumer organisations including MOVE, muscle, bone and joint health and Arthritis Australia.