Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith have welcomed this year’s annual funding round of Health Research Council grants with a number focusing on Maori and Pacific health.

“The 54 project grants announced today cover a wide range of topics and will provide invaluable information to help improve health outcomes for New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.

“An emphasis on Pacific health sees seven studies receive grants that will improve Pacific health outcomes in New Zealand with three of these from the dedicated Pacific Islands Families study.

“These Pacific grants cover research into cultural resiliency and vulnerability in mental health, sleep and well-being among Pacific children, and respiratory health, and the impact of hearing loss on Pacific youth.

“In addition to these, seven grants have been awarded to studies which focus on Maori health outcomes. These include research looking at ways to improve early access to lung cancer diagnosis, reducing hospital admissions for Maori children and support for young Maori mothers.

“Understanding how one of the world’s most problematic superbugs survives antibiotic treatment during infection is the topic of another study which will help address the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.”

“Projects must address well defined research questions with the aim of making significant improvements in or developing knowledge contributing to health outcomes,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“The HRC supports research that leads to improved health outcomes and more effective delivery of healthcare for New Zealanders, and research that brings economic gains for New Zealand.

“We want to maximise the opportunities in this area. Commercial health research is also a great opportunity to grow our high value exports.

“The annual amount available for health research through the Health Research Council (HRC) was increased by 56 per cent over four years in Budget 2016, going from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20.

“This investment shows our commitment to ensuring that health research remains a strength for New Zealand.”

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