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Research and Ethics

Mercy Hospital facilitates research primarily through the funding of the McAuley Chair in International Health at the University of Otago. Professor Philip Hill, Director of the Centre for International Health, heads up a “centre with an international reputation for research that leads to improved health in under-resourced countries” (Vision Statement). The Centre has a particular focus on tuberculosis with studies in The Gambia and Indonesia, while in Cambodia there is an “intervention against anaemia and micronutrient deficiency through fortification and education”. Research that is currently being planned in Samoa, in collaboration with their National University, focuses on facilitating local projects.

The Centre has initiated the establishment and now facilitates the Otago International Health Research Network. The Network fosters collaborative links across the university in relation to international health research and hosts senior researchers from around the world, who come to interact with Otago University staff.

Research is undertaken at Mercy Hospital as the opportunity arises. Projects are usually led by Consultants who initiate clinical research as part of their University of Otago commitment. Consultants may also join in national or international endeavours for large scale projects. Staff at Mercy Hospital are encouraged to undertake research, which usually involves projects that focus on improvement of practice. All research projects at Mercy Hospital require ethics approval from the Mercy Hospital Ethics Committee.

Ethical standards at Mercy Hospital are guided by those established by Catholic Health Australia in the Code of Ethical Standards for Catholic Health and Aged Care Services in Australia, (2001). These standards inform the Ethic Directives, which are available to all staff on-line and form part of the Hospital By-laws for Accredited Professionals. The Ethics Committee provides an opportunity for debate and discussion on ethical issues that arise, while also providing the means by which research projects are scrutinized. All research projects must be approved by the Regional Ethics Committee and then the Mercy Hospital Ethics Committee prior to commencement.

Philip Hill
Professor, Foundation Director, Centre for International Health, Preventive and Social Medicines, Division of Health Sciences.

Mercy Commitment

Research is an important component of work at Mercy Hospital. Primarily we use research to underpin our practice and thus ensure we maintain excellence in health care through our commitment to best practice.

Refer to Mercy Hospital's research policy here
Research Policy

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