Congratulations to new health minister

The George Institute for Global Health executive director Australia, Vlado Perkovic, today welcomed the appointment of the Hon Sussan Ley as Minister for Health.

“I congratulate the new Health Minister, and wish her all the best.  The George Institute’s world class medical research offers policy makers many ways to not only improve healthcare outcomes, but also to reduce inefficiencies, save scarce funding and ensure quality care is accessible to all.”

He said it was apt that the minister’s new portfolios combined sport and health. “If physical activity was a pill we would all be clamouring for it.”

Professor Perkovic said he looked forward to working with the minister to combat chronic diseases, and to look at innovative ways to reform the health care system.

“Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death in Australia. Australia needs new, effective and proven ways to deliver healthcare in an affordable, effective manner to those who need it.

“Research is currently exploring using mobile devices and apps to support health workers in remote areas, cheaper and proven medication such as the polypill, new, cheap and effective treatments such as lowering blood pressure to treat stroke patients, and areas where wastage is rife, such as x-rays. Our research has even proved that some expensive treatments are actually harmful, such as using starch to resuscitate intensive care patients.”

Professor Perkovic offered his congratulations to Minister Peter Dutton in his new role, and thanked him for his support of the institute. “We have very much appreciated the willingness of Minister Dutton to engage and to listen to our ideas and points of view.”

He noted that Minister Dutton continued an annual tradition of key government health leaders using The George as a platform to deliver policy remarks and insights, when he delivered the Government’s pre-budget health speech in May, 2014.

Professor Perkovic also expressed his appreciation of the fact that science now has a seat at the cabinet table, with the appointment of the Hon Ian Macfarlane as Minister for Industry and Science.

Medical research was crucial to the future of the health of Australians, Professor Perkovic said.

“The Government has shown great foresight in the Medical Research Future Fund proposal, recognising that Australia’s world-class medical research organisations can and must play an expanded role in contributing to health and medical advances that will benefit all Australians.

“Healthcare touches every Australian family, every Australian community, and the kind of world-class medical research the MRFF will support will ensure top notch and efficient healthcare for Australia.”