The body representing the RTCs, the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA), has published a written response to the AAHMS report. It says AAHMS has provided “a vision for a health system in Australia that is at the cutting edge of health care innovation driven by health and medical research embedded within the health system.”

“We strongly endorse the report recommendations to optimise the contribution that health and medical research can make to deliver better health for all Australians. We are committed to contribute to its successful implementation,” says the AHRA response.

The AAHMS report recommends the development of an alliance for transforming healthcare that would be empowered to develop and implement strategies for embedding research as core functions of the health system.

The report calls for a national strategy and implementation plan for building a clinician researcher workforce, including training and career pathways, and a more consistently applied framework for consumer and community involvement in research.

The AAHMS report also recommends that the RTCs receive meaningful, continuing funding to stimulate the formation of integrated research teams.

AHRA believes that implementation of the first pillar recommendation of the AAHMS report – building a research-active health workforce – will be key to achieving the overall vision of embedding research into healthcare.

“The AHRA Centres, individually and collectively, are fully engaged with research capacity building activities that complement and extend the existing roles of our university and health partners. We have unmatched reach into and across the health and research sectors.”

AHRA also supports the AAHMS report’s pillar recommendation that Consumer and Community Involvement should be intrinsic to and embedded in the operations of all health research bodies.

The RTCs actively prioritise involving consumers as active and equal partners in co-design, interpretation, implementation and dissemination of research.

“This work is built on AHRA’s formal alliance with Consumers Health Forum of Australia and has provided a National AHRA framework and principles for consumer and community involvement in research, and nationally leading resources such as a co-developed handbook and online knowledge hub.”

AHRA strongly supports the report’s fourth pillar recommendation calling for an acceleration of implementation and translation of research across healthcare settings and populations nationally.

“We are uniquely positioned to assist here by connecting the capabilities of our universities and leading medical research institutes with the capabilities, needs and priorities of our health organisations and services.”

AHRA has endorsed the AAHMS call for greater strategic coordination between funders, particularly the NHMRC and the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

“This will ensure that Australia’s investment in health and medical research delivers optimal social, health and economic impact.”