The Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) has partnered with the University of Sydney to create training and career opportunities for the next generation of health researchers, helping to tackle national skills shortages in health and aged care.
The agreement, the first of its kind for IHACPA, will also see the development of a new industry-backed PhD program and expand horizons for multidisciplinary health research.
IHACPA CEO Professor Michael Pervan signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney, on 4 December 2023.
"IHACPA is proud to partner with the University of Sydney’s Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics to build Australia’s capacity to improve the health care system using evidence," Professor Pervan said.
"Our expertise in providing world-class analysis on health care costs and prices combined with the Menzies Centre’s record of delivering impactful research will strengthen our capability to develop, undertake and implement critical health and aged care research.
"As the scope of IHACPA’s work grows, collaborations with universities and health agencies will allow us to gain important insights into the functioning of Australia’s complex and changing health care system."
Professor Eggleton said the alliance will build capacity for student and staff development, as well as research.
"The University of Sydney’s world-class teaching and research underpins our 2032 strategy to make Sydney, Australia, and the world, better places to live and work. Partnerships with leading health policy organisations such as IHACPA will be integral to achieving this goal.
"This MoU will enable us to take advantage of our organisations’ combined expertise in this space to ensure our healthcare systems and the people working within them can best serve the Australian public."
Professor Andrew Wilson and Professor Kirsten Howard, Co-Directors of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics, welcomed the partnership, which will form an important part of the Centre’s focus on improving public health outcomes through policy innovation and practical implementation.
"We are looking forward to seeing how the Menzies Centre can work with IHACPA to inform health policies that are able to deliver safe, high-quality health care that is sustainable in the long term, supported by our research which demonstrates a strong commitment to patient-centred outcomes," Professor Wilson said.
"As part of the agreement, we will develop a new Higher Degree Research program, opening doors for students to work at IHACPA and fostering career opportunities," Professor Howard added.
The MoU also opens potential areas of collaboration in research and development between IHACPA and the Menzies Centre, while boosting the technical skills of staff and students.
IHACPA and the Menzies Centre currently collaborate through the National Health and Medical Research Council-funded Centre for Research Excellence on Value-Based Payments in Cancer Care.
This research program, in partnership with several universities, examines the role and impact of policy and funding arrangements on health system costs and outcomes. This program will continue to the end of 2024 and will form the basis for future research collaborations.