‘Translational research for the prevention of chronic disease,’ is the theme of the 11th Gold Coast Health and Medical Research Conference 2015, where almost 400 exceptional biomedical scientists, clinical researchers, health professionals and research students are expected to converge.
The annual conference will feature a unique breadth of biomedical science, genetics, immunology, cancer, clinical, mental and population health.
To be held at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort, on December 3 and 4, the conference – hosted by the Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MenziesHIQ) – is the premier forum for health and medical research in south-east Queensland.
Drawing in other top Gold Coast institutions, the Gold Coast Health and Medical Research Conference has grown to encompass the Gold Coast University Hospital, Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Bond University, Southern Cross University and the Gold Coast Medical Association. Together they have developed an outstanding two-day program including five dynamic guest speakers.
The need for good health policy
Professor Andrew Wilson, director, Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, will use his keynote address to discuss the need for good health policy to be sensitive to the complexity of health care where changes in policy settings may produce unintended consequences.
“Health policy is being set in an environment where governments are increasingly concerned about the growth in the total health care cost and value in health care expenditure,” he says. “At the same time there is a whole of government policy aiming to reduce unnecessary regulation.”
Meanwhile Professor John Fraser, BiVACOR Medical Director for the Innovative Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory, will talk about Australia’s ageing population and the increasing ratio of non tax-payers to tax-payers.
“Almost 50% of every health dollar is spent in the last six months of life,” he says.
“Therefore, we will have older people with more disease and less taxes to pay for their healthcare. It is essential, therefore, that medicine finds some way to adapt and cope with this iceberg of disease.
“Medicine is a service to our patients. Unless the entire team of skills involved in bringing better and more affordable healthcare come together, we will not be able to cope with not only adding years to the lives of our patients but also, more importantly, adding life to those years.”
Professor Fraser will provide a “call to arms” for the integration of all health sciences to work in a silo-free environment for the improved outcome of patients.
The conference program also boasts a panel discussion, symposium sessions, interactive poster sessions and workshops.
New this year, Griffith Health and MHIQ have introduced an international element, hosting the inaugural International Research Symposium (by invitation only) on Wednesday, 2 December.
“Significant advances have been made across multiple disciplines in relation to understanding, preventing and treating disease, yet it is unclear why the potential for relinquishing substantial reduction in disease has not been achieved overall and across various subgroups,” says Griffith’s director of MenziesHIQ, Professor Sheena Reilly. “Conferences such as this promote interdisciplinary discussions and most importantly, pathways to facilitate effective and sustainable translation.
“Significant advances have been made across multiple disciplines in relation to understanding, preventing and treating disease, yet it is unclear why the potential for relinquishing substantial reduction in disease has not been achieved overall and across various subgroups,” says Professor Reilly.
“Appreciating the amazing gains we as a society can make by focusing on prevention rather than cure, we welcome and look forward to engaging with local and national health professionals, clinicians and delegates from other universities, research institutions and government organisations who are joining us this year.”
For more information on the program, guest speakers or how to register, please visit the conference website: http://gchmrc.com/program