The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is Australia’s leading expert body for advancing individual and public health standards. It was created by the NHMRC Act and is responsible to the Commonwealth Minister for Health. The NHMRC’s major functions are allocating research funding and providing high-level advice on health matters.
Individual health disciplines also have learned societies that provides services such as advocacy, professional resources, networking and research. These include:
- Australian Medical Association (AMA)
- Brain Australia
- Health Administration professional bodies
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
NHMRC Priority Actions
The Council has a set of priority actions that are identified in its strategic plan. They are to
- Create new knowledge through support of discovery research
- Accelerate research translation
- Build Australia’s future capability for research and translation
- Set high standards in ethics in health care and research
- Work with partners – States and Territories, health bodies, health industries and community and consumer groups.
NHRMC Council and Committees
The hierarchical structure of the NHMRC consists of the Health Minister, a CEO, a Council and Principal Committees. Members of the Council and Principal Committees are appointed by the Minister, on a part-time basis, for three years before becoming eligible for reappointment. The Committees consist of
- AHEC – Australian Health Ethics Committee
- Research Committee
- Embryo Research Licensing Committee
- HGAC – Human Genetics Advisory Committee
- HCC – Health Care Committee
- PCHC – Prevention and Community Health Committee.