April 10 2012.
The Australian Academy of Science has called for health and medical research funding to be increased to two per cent of the health budget by 2025.
In its submission to the McKeon Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research, the Academy also proposed reforms to create incentives to increase private and philanthropic investments in health and medical research.
“Health and medical research has clearly evident social as well as economic value which justify incentives for private investment and charitable donations,” said Academy President Professor Suzanne Cory.
“Australia has a strong track record in health and medical research with numerous nationally and internationally significant discoveries and innovations, but there remain areas of high community need, such as age-related illness, mental health and Indigenous health.
“The Academy proposes a gradual increase in health and medical research funding over the next 13 years, to two per cent of the nation’s total health spending. This will bring us to the same level as many other OECD countries.”
The Academy has made 13 key recommendations to the Review, including:
• Increasing health and medical research funding to 2% of health budget by 2025
• Prioritising areas of community need, such as mental health and Indigenous health
• Introducing further incentives to encourage charitable donations
• Improving incentives to increase private investment in research
• Removing barriers that discourage collaborations between research sectors
• Removing barriers to international research collaborations
• Encouraging each State to work with the Federal Government in health research
“As a wealthy nation with a strong health care system it is important that Australia continues to make health care better, more accessible and more affordable,” Professor Cory said.
“A vibrant research sector attuned to our national priorities is vital if we are to make continuing improvements to quality of care and health outcomes for all Australians.”
The Academy’s submission is available at
The Australian Academy of Science’s Early and Mid-career Researcher Forum has also made a submission to the review, available at http://science.org.au/reports/documents/EMCRF-McKeon-submission.pdf
Ms Kylie Walker
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