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Title: Safeguarding health in International Investment Agreements.
Led by Associate Professor Anne Marie Thow from the University of Sydney, with Professor Andrew Mitchell from the Faculty of Law as the second named co-investigator, the project aims to identify best-practice options to successfully safeguard health in International Investment Agreements (IIAs), and strategies for public health actors to support the inclusion of health safeguards in future IIAs. IIAs form part of efforts by governments to attract foreign investment, but industry actors have used them to dispute health policy measures in critical areas, including tobacco control and access to medicines. Governments find themselves caught between the interests of the investors (companies), and the health of their citizens: it has become increasingly clear that using IIAs to promote investment without appropriate safeguards can undermine health policy. Recognising these risks, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that health safeguards be built into IIAs, but their adoption has been limited and inconsistent. The ‘post COVID-19 world’ will require striking a balance between economic recovery and protection of population health. It is essential that IIAs do not undermine comprehensive and effective health regulation. This project will generate new evidence on 'best practice' health safeguards in IIAs, to prevent challenges to public health policy, and provide resources for the health and investment policy sectors to increase inclusion of strong health safeguards. The project has been awarded a total of $844,368.
Title: Better Health Outcomes for Compensable Injury
Associate Professor Genevieve Grant is part of a successful NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) grant. The CRE scheme supports research that aims to improve health outcomes and promote or improve translation of research outcomes into policy and/or practice. Genevieve is working with a team of researchers from the University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash. The Better Health Outcomes for Compensable Injury CRE addresses the urgent need to improve health outcomes for individuals with non-hospitalised road traffic crash injury through translational research, capacity building and end-user engagement focused on primary care and community-based interventions. The health burden created by major injuries, such as spinal cord and brain injury, is clearly recognised. What is not so well recognised is the costly impact associated with the large number of non-hospitalised injuries that occur each year as a result of road traffic crashes. The CRE was awarded $2.5 million in funding and will run until 2026.