Having commissioned an Inquiry into mental health by the Productivity Commission, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing has now undertaken a consultation on the recommendations contained in the Commission’s final report.
The Consultation was undertaken using an electronic survey, which has restricted the response to each question to a maximum of 500 words. Research Australia’s response to each of the questions posed by the survey is provided in our submission. Our responses emphasise:
- the critical role of research in supporting the evaluation of existing programs and measures and the development and implementation of new programs;
- the need to focus on implementation and scalability as part of translating research findings into new and effective preventive mental health programs; and
- the essential role of data in evaluating the effectiveness of programs and the performance of the mental health system as a whole.
Research Australia acknowledges the contribution of our members to this submission, especially Black Dog Institute, Orygen, SANE Australia and Beyond Blue.
Research Australia has made a submission in response to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Mental Health. Our submission has focused on recommendations related to the role of the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC), evaluation and mentoring of programs, and the role for research in improving mental health outcomes and the delivery of mental healthcare services.
We have highlighted the significant expertise in program evaluation that exists in the health economics research and health services research community, and the role it could play in supporting the NHMC in evaluating programs. Our recommendations include a role for the NHMC in sponsoring research into gaps in knowledge relating to service delivery and improving the adoption of evidence based care. We have also called for researchers to be given access to data collected and used by the NHMC.
Research Australia’s submission is available here.
The Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Public Sector Data Availability and Use, part of a 12 month Inquiry, has highlighted the public benefits of improving access to public data and has proposed significant reforms, including to improve access to data for researchers and to make researchers’ own data more accessible. While Research Australia is broadly supportive of the Commission’s draft recommendations, we have made substantive responses in relation to a number; particularly some that would affect the way research is conducted and funded.
As the quantities of data collected about all of us grows, so does our capacity to utilise this data for the benefit of all. As the Draft Report has identified, there is evidence that community attitudes to data and questions of privacy and security are changing, and legislation and government practices need to change to both reflect this change and enable us to harness this data as a valuable resource. Now is the time to act if we are to make the most of the opportunities public data provides to improve the delivery of government services and the health of our community, and to create the new economic opportunities and jobs of tomorrow. The Commission’s Draft Report is a very important step in what Research Australia acknowledges will be a long but fruitful journey in harnessing the transformative power of data in contemporary society.
Response to Productivity Commission Data Availability Draft Report December 2016