Australian scientists back new health and medical funding reforms

The Academy welcomes the package of health and medical research initiatives announced today by the Federal Government, including the powerful Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) research missions that will be delivered through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Academy President, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, said the package recognises the power of science, expertise and evidence to drive medical research, drug discovery, health care technology, and the best medical care for Australians.

“The review announced by Minister Butler last year to improve alignment and coordination between the MRFF and NHMRC’s Medical Research Endowment Account provided an opportunity to look at the ways in which the governance of two important schemes could be improved.

“The Academy supports the Government’s commitment to making sure public funding of research is coordinated and well governed,” he said.

The Academy also welcomes the centralising of clinical trials in Australia to create a ‘One Stop Shop’. It will improve the accessibility of life-saving technologies developed from scientific research and reduce regulatory burden.

The Academy supports the continued leadership of Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb AC FAA FTSE as Chair of the Inter-Governmental Policy Reform Group.

Today’s health and medical research announcement acknowledges the urgent need for wider reform of Australia’s research sector.

“Australian research and researchers are not well served by a fragmented research support system with some 190 programs funded through 13 departments and agencies.

“The Federal Government’s commitment to a National Health and Medical Research Strategy is welcome but we also need a strategic roadmap for all Australian research,” Professor Jagadish said.

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