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Evidence based medicine leads to better disease treatment and prevention.

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Media Release


Dr Michael Wooldridge


MW 59/98

24 March 1998




The Minister for Health and Family Services, Dr Michael Wooldridge, today reinforced the Federal Government's commit ment to use evidence based medicine (EBM) to improve disease treatment and prevention.


At the NHMRC National Health Forum in Canberra Dr Wooldridge emphasised that using evidence-based research to tackle disease treatment would benefit the health of Australians.


"This Forum provides the NHMRC with a means of developing practical steps to help Australia's health care more rapidly adopt best practice based on up-to-date evidence of clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness," Dr Wooldridge said.


"Translating research into better treatment is critical to improving the health of Australians and providing world class methods for disease prevention control.


"Nothing could be more important in health than looking at key diseases that affect and cause enormous suffering to Australians and working out what can be done better to prevent them, manage them better and ensure the best possible care for people who have them," he said.


Australia is the first country in the world to formally incorporate evidence based medicine into its health care system, through the Medical Services Advisory Committee model announced in the last Federal Budget and to be launched by the Minister on Monday 6 April.


Dr Wooldridge said evidence based medicine had already lead to the bettering of health care for people with heart diseases.


"Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting can now be performed in selected patients with or without cardio pulmonary bypass via much smaller incision that the conventional median sternotomy. Valve repair and replacement surgery has also been adapted to endoscopy and smaller incisions.


"This represents a new era in surgical techniques. Basing clinical practice around what is proven to work means we can be certain of high quality treatment," Dr Wooldridge said.


Dr Wooldridge said the Government's emphasis on evidence based medicine would profoundly affect the future directions of the health system, help relieve human suffering and mean far better value for money in health.


"Improving the health of Australians is a long term process that requires a concerted effort to find out from those in the field what is going on and what we can improve upon.


Media Contact:


Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge's office (02) 6277 7220