Health research underfunded, causing patients and society to suffer

Dublin, Ireland – The Irish Health Research Forum marked its tenth anniversary today with a call for increased investment in research within the health system. Leaders in health research gathered in Dublin to discuss the importance of embedding research in healthcare and the benefits it brings to patients, healthcare staff, and the economy.

The forum, under the stewardship of Health Research Charities Ireland (HRCI), brings together all stakeholders to address pressing issues in health research. Through its events and reports, the forum advocates for increased capital expenditure in research infrastructure. However, despite repeated calls for action, the government’s investment in R&D remains at just 0.29% of GDP, far below the EU average of 0.71%.

Dr. Avril Kennan, CEO of HRCI, emphasized the need to view research funding as an investment rather than a cost, highlighting its far-reaching benefits for the health and well-being of the Irish public and the economy. She also highlighted the lack of support from the state, hindering Ireland’s ability to conduct world-class health research and preventing healthcare staff from participating in research.

The Chair of the Irish Health Research Forum, Professor Mark White, acknowledged the milestone of the forum’s tenth anniversary and the valuable reports and recommendations it has produced over the past decade. He stressed the need for swift action from the health system and government to address urgent priorities and keep up with the rest of Europe.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, a special report titled “Celebrating 10 Years of the Irish Health Research Forum” was released, highlighting the transformative journey of health research in Ireland and key themes derived from previous forum recommendations.

The Irish Health Research Forum, supported by a diverse Steering Group, brings together leaders from various sectors to drive positive change in health research. It regularly convenes to discuss key issues and produce recommendations, with a focus on patient and public involvement and benefit.

HRCI, the national umbrella organization for health research charities in Ireland, represents over 2 million people and invests almost €20M per year in research. Through programs like the Joint Funding Scheme with the Health Research Board and the Irish Health Research Forum, HRCI advocates for increased investment in health research and its impact on improving lives.

For more information, visit:

Media Contact:

Linda McGrath

Events & Communications Manager

Health Research Charities Ireland – HRCI


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