25 October 2022
The national peak body for health and medical research, Research Australia, says that while tonight’s budget does not contain a lot of news – good or bad – for the health and medical research sector, it gives the sector breathing space to put current health and medical research spending under the microscope.
Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin, said, “Australia has to look more closely at where health and medical research funding is spent now, where it should be spent to be most effective and efficient, and what sort of health and medical research workforce Australia will need for the future.
“Research Australia continues to champion the National HMR Strategy, as announced last year, to ensure investment has maximum impact on national priorities and exploits areas of international competitive advantage.
“There is almost no new funding for the grants programs of NHMRC, MRFF or ARC, despite rising inflation making the cost of undertaking research more expensive. It is however heartening to see the commitment to health and medical research as a driver of a better healthcare evident in the Government’s commitments to new Cancer Centres and the National Centre for Disease Control.
“The continued commitment to the National Reconstruction Fund is welcome. It is through the $1.5bn investment in medical science that we can translate Australia’s world-class health innovation into the industries of the future.
“We look forward to working with the Albanese Government to understand how Australia can invest smarter to provide a better quality of life for Australians and maximise the innovation potential of Australian health and medical research,” Nadia Levin said.
Research Australia has welcomed the handful of measures relevant to health and medical research, including:
- A $2.9 billion package to drive an innovative revamp of Australia’s primary health care system including $100 million to co-develop and pilot innovative models with states and territories to improve care pathways and inform program roll out.
- $452 million to support the establishment of 2 world class comprehensive cancer centres in Brisbane and Adelaide.
- $47.2 million over six years to encourage young people, especially women, to forge brighter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions.
- $13.5 million for developing Australia’s critical technology capability as part of the National Reconstruction Fund, as well as continued funding for the National Science and Technology Council.
- $3.4 million to establish a National Health Sustainability and Climate Unit.
- $3.2 million for preparatory work for the National Centre for Disease Control.
Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline.