The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is pleased to note the important commitments that are made to the healthcare sector in the recent budget. The quality of life of Australians is of prime importance, as are the economic consequences of illness. With the growing costs of treatments, the Academy welcomes the emphasis on prevention and sees this as a theme that has to be consolidated in all of our activities. The budget also addresses crucial problems for society including mental health and paediatric cancers.
Of specific note from the perspective of the Academy is the initial expenditure arising from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The target of these awards, for example to the Advanced Health and Translation Centres, adds a new source of support for crucial activities with improvements for patients and with an emphasis on translating research findings into better health outcomes. The MRFF now sits as a growing source of funding to compliment that of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It is noted that the NHMRC maintains its funding but against a backdrop of rising costs, and thus the pressures on it to meet the demands and needs of the research community will remain under strain. We anticipate that the combination of the MRFF and the NHMRC will result in some pressures being removed from the NHMRC, such that funding for the whole spectrum of research from basic science through to clinical application and population health can be delivered.
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