Ten University of Otago proposals have been awarded funding through the Health Research Council’s (HRC) new Health Delivery Research Investment round. The 32 research grants are the first of two funding announcements for the HRC’s new Health Delivery Research portfolio.

Otago has been awarded the highest amount of any New Zealand university, receiving $4,282,950 of the total HRC $14.4 million funding pool. Three of Otago’s Health Delivery Research Projects were each awarded over $1.3 million.

Professor Timothy Stokes, the co-Director of Otago’s Centre for Health Systems and Technologies receives NZ$1,399,512 over 36 months to research whether alliance partnerships between DHBs and Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) improve system performance and patient outcomes.

This project will also explore how such partnerships improve system integration and equity, as well as generating evidence to support new models of healthcare delivery in Aotearoa.

Professor Pauline Norris from Otago’s Division of Health Sciences receives NZ$1,349,520 over 36 months to investigate issues around access to medicine. This project will be a collaboration between researchers and Pharmac to inform Pharmac’s work to improve equity in medicine use and access.

Dr Philip Adamson, of the University of Otago, Christchurch, receives NZ$1,331,290 over 48 months to investigate the potential for CT scans in the diagnosis and treatment of heart attack patients who would otherwise need to undergo the risks of an invasive heart angiogram.

Otago has also been successful in seven Health Delivery Activation Grants, which have an allocation of up to $30,000 each.

Professor Richard Blaikie, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, says such significant funding is a great result for Otago.

“We are extremely proud to see our researcher’s hard work and expertise being rewarded with this important funding. Dr Adamson, Professor Norris and Professor Stokes’ projects will each bring important knowledge to assist the health system deliver the best services to our communities. The seven Research Activation grants will also allow preliminary work to begin for future projects aimed at progressing equity and improving health outcomes.

The Health Research Council’s funding in these important areas is greatly appreciated and I wish the successful recipients the very best for the hard work they’re embarking on,” Professor Blaikie says.

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