The Panel of the Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia  held its second meeting on 19 December 2011 in Melbourne.

The six-member Panel, chaired by Simon McKeon, is undertaking the first comprehensive review of health and medical research since the Wills review in 1998 and is required ton consider “how to optimise the future environment for health and medical research in this country in a fiscally sustainable manner.”

A website for the Review is currently being constructed and should be completed towards the end of January.

A call for public submissions to the review is expected to be made at the beginning of February, and the period during which submissions will be accepted is likely to continue for two months through to the end of March.

Stakeholder consultations are likely to commence in late April 2012 and continue through until July. Consultations are planned for each capital city of Australia and it is expected that both private meetings with major stakeholders and a public workshop with interested stakeholders, including members of the public, will be held in each city.

It is expected that the final report, including recommendations for a 10-year strategic health and medical research plan for the nation, will be provided to the Minister in late 2012.

The next Panel meeting is planned for early February 2012, following which further details on stakeholder consultation processes will be released.

National Manager of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Dr Rohan Hammett, has resigned from the position.

Funding totalling more than $105 million has been allocated to ten research programs under the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Program Grants to commence in 2013.

Commonwealth funding of $20 million has been announced for a health and medical education campus in Port Macquarie – the first of its kind in regional Australia.

The Queensland Government has announced plans to abolish Queensland Health in a bid to create a ‘new beginning’ in health services in the state.

A vaccine that slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia has been developed by researchers at the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI).

The Western Australian Government has called for expressions of interest  members of Western Australia’s five new public health service governing councils.

The Federal Government has outlined nearl $10 million in funding under a scheme to assist Australian researchers search for new ways to prevent and treat the disease.

The Australian Innovation Challenge has recognised the revolutionary Nanopatch technology with top honours at an award ceremony held last week, winning the manufacturing and high-tech design category.

The Federal Government has announced the formation of a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) that will conduct research into new ways of using the Internet, social media and other applications.

The Federal Government has confirmed the it has received an interim report on dental health reform options from the independent National Advisory Council on Dental Health.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has held its annual awards ceremony in Canberra, recognising the country’s leading health and medical researchers.

The Federal Government has announced the formation of a new agency that will be tasked to lead the Government’s designing of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The National Health and Medical Research Council has held its 75 anniversary symposium, analyzing the best way forward to translate research into better health outcomes for all nations.

A team of research scientists have discovered new ways in which the malaria parasite survives and develops in the victim’s bloodstream, paving the way for the development of new drugs to treat the deadly disease.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a report into cancer rates in adolescents and young adults, finding that cancer related mortality rates are dropping in the 15-29 age group.

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