Find out about how our research contributes to policy-making.

National health policy

Women's health

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) has continuously engaged with government to shape the study to meet government needs and to provide timely results in formats suitable for use in policy. Study research results are annually communicated to government via major reports and technical reports, as well as commissioned reports on topics of interest. Most recently, ALSWH provided a formal submission to the development of the Australian Government National Women’s Health Policy, which was released in 2010 and includes extensive reference to ALSWH research.

Water

Mr Greg Fowler (Health Systems and Policy) assisted in facilitating adoption of fluoridated drinking water as policy of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in Queensland and contributed to the implementation of this public health strategy under the former Bligh ALP government. He also gave advice and contributions to a 2012 Health Workforce Australia report on the role of Physician’s Assistants in Australia.

Cancer prevention

The research of Dr Genevieve Healy (Cancer Prevention Research Centre) on the relationship between prolonged sitting time and health was key to the establishment of the National Heart Foundation of Australia’s “Sit Less, Move More” 2011 campaign.

Mental health

The work of Professor Harvey Whiteford (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research) and colleagues in identifying cost drivers for mental health services in Australia for the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority was the driver behind the introduction of activity-based funding to Australian health services. The group has also developed planning estimates for the Queensland Government (Departments of Communities and Health).

Sex workers

Research by Dr Liza Fitzgerald (Health Systems and Policy) on sex workers in New Zealand resulted in the policy decision not to re-criminalise the street-based sex work industry in New Zealand and to continue decriminalisation of that country’s sex industry.

Preventing infection in hospitals

The research of Professor Archie Clements (Infectious Disease) on risk adjustment for surveillance of health care-associated bloodstream infections has led to changes in the way that national hospital infection rates are measured and reported. Rather than reporting raw rates, the National Health Performance Authority now reports risk-adjusted rates that take into consideration the patient case-mix and types of hospital services that each hospital provides. This will lead to more robust comparison of hospital performance nationally.

As a direct result of the work by Dr Luke Knibbs (Environmental Health) the ventilation rate in the spirometry laboratory at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, was increased in 2013 to reduce the risk of influenza transmission. His research also resulted in Brisbane City Council mandating that real-time air quality data from the Clem 7 road tunnel be made publicly available.

Military service

Findings from the Centre for Australian Military and Veterans’ Health provided the Australian Defence Force with evidence to allow the relaxation of entry standards for asthma and body mass index, proving that the safety of personnel would not be compromised.

International health policy

  • The consultancy work of Associate Professor Peter Hill (International Health) with WHO/UNFPA from 2005-2011 examined country office capacity to support Ministry of Health representation of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) into higher level national planning processes has helped to ensure promotion of SRHR, rather than just focusing on maternal mortality.
  • Professor Archie Clements (Infectious Disease) contributed to a WHO technical report on mapping of neglected tropical diseases. WHO now incorporates spatial sampling designs in their recommendations for planning national schistosomiasis control programs in Africa.
  • Professor Charles Gilks (HoS) maintains his links with WHO in the HIV field; contributes to expert panels for global guidelines on antiretroviral therapy (ART) (2012) and Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis (2013). He is also on the Global Fund Technical Review Panel (2014-2018).