Australians embrace health and medical research in a changing landscape of healthcare

Media Release
September 12, 2018

Australians continue to place improving hospitals and healthcare as the number one spending priority for the Australian Government ahead of infrastructure, education standards and employment opportunities.

We are pleased to see that more funding for health and medical research is the 6th most important of the 27 priorities presented in the poll. (It has been consistently in top 10 ever since we started polling in 2003.)

Interest among Australians in health and medical research is high with 89% saying they are interested in health and medical research.  However, while confident in their ability to contribute to decision making about the future direction of HMR most Australians don’t know how, and many don’t believe they’d be heard.  Our governments and research organisations clearly have more work to do to meaningfully engage with the broader community.

This year’s poll also confirmed that Australians are willing to embrace technology that can help them better manage their own health. They trust healthcare professionals to assist them with choosing those technologies and directing them to other credible online information sources.

The rise of precision medicine exemplifies how quickly the landscape is changing and how health and medical research is at the forefront of healthcare.  The 2018 poll shows Australians are ready to embrace precision medicine and are equally willing for their information to be used to assist others.  In fact, 75% of people would be willing to use genetic testing to identify the most effective drug and 95% would be willing for their results to be used to improve treatments for future patients.

The poll covered donations and government funding and once again support for HMR is widespread.  And at a time when we see the Government partnering with the not for profit sector to support health and medical research, people indicated they would be more likely to donate to a charity if the government would match their donation.

The trend to support a sugar tax is still high with 45% support it and 27% probably support it.  Awareness of the obesity issue and the health risks associated is growing.

Australians’ opinions continue to shape Research Australia’s strategies and priorities and observation of the changing trends and current attitudes will be shared widely to help shape policy and change to ensure a healthier Australia.

The 2018 Australia Speaks! Opinion Poll results were officially revealed last night at a launch event at Roy Morgan’s Offices in Flinders Lane Melbourne.

For more information please contact Greg Mullins, Head of Policy (03) 9662 9420.

Research Australia and Roy Morgan research are proud to release the results of the 2018 poll and further information is available on

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