New Research Centre To Aid Motor Vehicle Crash Victims
Minister for Finance and Services Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research Jillian Skinner today officially opened the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research at the Royal North Shore Hospital campus.
The NSW Government is contributing $5 million in funding over five years to support the centre, which is dedicated to researching rehabilitation post-motor vehicle crashes.
“The John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research is an exciting new chapter in the promotion of better practice in rehabilitation and injury management for people injured in motor vehicle crashes,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The centre is named after John Walsh, who is an opinion leader in the disability and personal injury communities. It is a lasting tribute to a great Australian who contributed so much to people injured in road crashes and other acquired injuries and disabilities.”
The John Walsh Centre grew out of the former Rehabilitation Studies Unit first established in 1992 by the University of Sydney, which was partly funded by the NSW Motor Accidents Authority.
The centre will be led by Professor Ian Cameron, a consultant physician in rehabilitation medicine and the Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine, Sydney Medical School, within the University of Sydney.
It will be jointly funded by the NSW Motor Accidents Authority and the Lifetime Care and Support Authority and is located within the Northern Sydney Local Health District’s Kolling Institute of Medical Research.
“An important aspect of research is to improve and better understand health outcomes after injury while proving valuable information for policy making to ensure viable and efficient CTP and Lifetime Care schemes,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This reflects the NSW Government’s strong commitment to ensuring services are rigorously evaluated and based on evidence of effectiveness.”
Recent research has shown more than 10 per cent of people with mild to moderate injuries are still unable to return to work two years after an injury. Sixty five per cent of injured people experience persistent pain and a high level of clinical and sub-clinical anxiety and depression.
“This is an example of the types of research that will have practical application in the development of responses and policies to help improve outcomes for the individuals and long term costs for the whole of NSW,” Mr Perrottet said
Mrs Skinner said the centre will evaluate programs to determine the effect and value of interventions and services.
“Road crashes create significant pressure on the NSW public health system, with around 25,000 people being treated in emergency departments and around 82,000 people being hospitalised,” she said.
“This new centre represents an example of government, universities, researchers and clinicians working together to understand and propose solutions that improve health outcomes after road crash trauma.
“Over time it is envisioned the centre will bring together a range of networks providing innovative research and trauma services, which will in turn accelerate applied research that will benefit people injured in car crashes in NSW.”
Mrs Skinner said it is fitting the new centre is named after John Walsh.
“I have enormous admiration for John Walsh. He has been a major contributor to development of health policy that assists all patients, including those with disabilities,” Mrs Skinner said.
(Left to right) Vivek Bhatia, CEO of SRWS, Professor Jonathan Morris, Director of the Kolling Institute, Minister Skinner & Minister Perrottet