26 November 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fine Gael Senator for Cork North Central and the party’s Spokesperson for Health in the Seanad, Colm Burke, has said today (Thursday) that the HSE needs a Director of Research in order to boost the profile of medical research in this country and ensure it is given the priority it needs. Senator Burke was speaking after attending the launch of the Medical Research Charities Group’s (MRCG) Manifesto for Medical Research.
“The HSE needs a Director of Research in order to boost the profile of medical research in this country and ensure it is given the priority it needs.
“According to the MRCG, Ireland spends 0.25% of its health budget on research which is low by European standards. In the UK they spend 1.6% of their budget on research so ideally we would like to get it up to at least 1% here in Ireland.
“A Director of Research in the HSE would, I believe, give medical research more of a priority in this country, with greater emphasis on the things we need to achieve to ensure that Ireland can be a global leader in this area. For example we need a national strategy and ring-fenced funding for patient registries in Ireland. We need clear Government policies on the future of genetic services. Patients with rare diseases need increased access to new and innovative therapies.
“Today it was announced that Irish researchers have had yet another success at EU level, securing a budget of €80 million in Horizon 2020, the EU Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020), I want to see health research prioritised when it comes to this type of funding. If the HSE had a Director of Research there would be someone there to fight for increased resources in the health budget for research that can both save lives, and also improve quality of life of patients.”