Flinders University has announced a $1.5 billion development plan for its Bedford Park campus called Flinders Village, which will include an integrated health and education precinct.

The health building will initially have a focus on mental health, infectious disease and personalised health delivery.

The building dedicated to health research is planned to be "shovel ready" next year and under construction between 2021-2022—the university recently opened a $7.1 million purpose-built building for the study of eating disorders, now operating at the Repat health precinct at Daw Park.

"Flinders has a proud history as a pioneer in integrated health – ours is the first medical school in the nation to be integrated into a public hospital," said vice-chancellor professor Colin Stirling in a statement.

"We're at the core of a health and education precinct that includes the state's busiest hospital, educates the majority of the state's medical workforce and contributes a substantial proportion of the State's biomedical research."

Part of the development project will also help provide healthcare accommodation for families visiting patients from rural and regional areas to the university's medical centre and private hospital.

"In addition to furthering health services and research, our new urban centre with accommodation and retail amenities will benefit our Bedford Park and Tonsley campuses, the adjacent hospitals and surrounding suburbs," said Stirling.

The projects other components include expanded housing facilities for students and retail establishments for the surrounding area—Flinders claims the development will become the biggest integrated health and education precinct in South Australia.

In May, the university opened an allied health centre, Health2GO, offering affordable optometry, physiotherapy, hearing and speech pathology services, and is located in the Sturt precinct of the university's Bedford Park campus, near its optometry and vision science department.

Universities across the country are ramping up investment in healthcare research facilities and programs, including Swinburne University of Technology and Epworth HealthCare, which in May announced a partnership aimed at better leveraging digital health technologies to address critical health issues and benefit patients.

Meanwhile, Deakin University in Victoria recently announced the launch of the Institute for Health Transformation, established to help guide the transformation of the way Australian health and care is promoted, designed and delivered.

In addition, the University of Technology Sydney announced plans to deploy artificial intelligence technology for a multi-institutional initiative to address antimicrobial resistance across human, animal and environmental contexts.

 

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