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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Health Minister commits millions to bushfire research

Health Industry Hub | January 20, 2020 |

Health Minister, Greg Hunt, announced $5 million funding for research into the biological, psychological and behavioural impacts of prolonged exposure to bushfire smoke on people and communities.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that the findings will provide people with better knowledge of prevention measures and empower doctors with better clinical solutions to care for communities affected by future extreme bushfires.

The announcement follows weeks of warnings in the media about air quality and the effects on human health from Dr Bartone and other AMA spokespeople.

Dr Bartone said that the short-term effects of hazardous air quality are well-researched, but the long-term effects of short and medium time periods of exposure are not well understood.

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“The AMA has been extensively engaged in responding to both our patients and the wider public’s concerns about the impact of hazardous air on individual and population health over the last couple of months,” Dr Bartone said.

“General practitioners are treating people in fire-ravaged areas and other communities, and seeing first-hand those affected by the physical conditions and mental health consequences of ongoing exposure to hazardous air.

“However, the lack of clinical and public health research evidence about the long-term impacts of the kind of exposure to hazardous air we have seen in the last few months makes public education challenging.

“We need to rapidly translate the research findings into everyday medical practice to facilitate comprehensive care and treatment and improve health literacy,” Dr Bartone said.

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The grant round will open Friday, 17 January 2020 and closes Friday, 31 January 2020.

For further details about this MRFF announcement visit https://www.grants.gov.au/

Details relating to the Australian Governments comprehensive response to the bushfire disaster can be located at https://www.pm.gov.au/media/national-bushfire-recovery-agency

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