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An Tánaiste stresses the need to stimulate research and development in the Health Services

Tánaiste, Mary Harney, Minister for Health and Children will focus on the need to harness research and development potential within the Health Services, tonight, 7 October 2004, when she opens a seminar organised by the Health Research Board.

"All the indications are that we are now on the eve of one of the most remarkable transformations in understanding the human body, health and disease yet known in human history. If we are going to position Ireland at the forefront of this transformation, we need to seize the opportunity to turn the research potential in our health services into a reality", says Tánaiste, Mary Harney, Minister for Health.

More than 100,000 people are working in our public Health Services and many thousands more work in private healthcare. They are at the interface between science and technology and the patient. The aim of the seminar is to emphasise how a structured approach to research and development can translate into world-class health services, encourage strategic planning and demonstrate how the health care system must grow and adapt to contribute to a knowledge-based economy and society.

"Innovative research does not stand still in any sector and health is no different," she challenges. "A vibrant research culture is emerging in the Irish Health Services. We need to harness this potential in a structured way to improve health, combat disease, reduce disability and provide first class health care."