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February 2014

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Alfred Health Chief Executive Officer Andrew Way, National Trauma Research Institute Director Professor Russell Gruen, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Health Services Special Director General Dr. S Y Kothari and All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director and Director of JPN Apex Trauma Centre in Delhi Professor Mahesh Misra.

Australia and India collaborate on trauma care

India and Australia have joined forces to tackle road trauma care.

In India, one person is killed in a road accident every two to four minutes.

‘Trauma from road accidents is one of the world’s biggest health problems and this partnership will help India develop a world-class trauma system that will save lives,’ said Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

‘It’s a great example of bilateral co-operation and another powerful demonstration of how sophisticated the relationship between our two countries has become.’

Ms Bishop was taking part in the signing of a five-year agreement between the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Trauma Research Institute, part of Alfred Health, the Victorian-based health service renowned for its world-leading trauma care.

The partnership will include exchanges between countries, institutional links and jointly-planned initiatives in policy development, research, training and design of services for handling critically-injured accident victims.

According to official estimates, the 2012 Indian road toll was 138,258, more than in any other country.

‘Road accidents form a major part of the country’s preventable deaths,’ said Indian Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju.

‘We are trying to provide very good trauma care facilities both on highways as well as inside the cities.’

‘Australia, and particularly Victoria, has shown that a well-organised system of trauma care saves lives helps patients recover and improves their quality of life,’ said Professor Russell Gruen, Director of the National Trauma Research Institute.

‘Injured people and their families, their communities and national productivity all stand to benefit.’

This agreement follows NTRI and Monash University signing a $2.5 million four-year research agreement with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi to determine the best ways of improving trauma care in India.

This research collaboration is supported by the Australian Department of Industry and the Indian Department of Science and Technology through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

It is predicted that road accidents will be the world’s third-leading cause of death within 10 years.

For every death, many more are seriously or permanently disabled.

In India and Australia, injury is the leading cause of death of children and young adults and a leading cause of lost productivity.