Health and Medical Research - Additional funding

This Budget provides an injection of $500 million into Australia’s health and medical research funding to build on important work being done in the sector.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • In its assessment of Australia's health and medical research sector (HMR), the 2004 Grant Review notes the monumental return of HMR investment to the treatment, health and wellbeing of Australians, estimated at more than $5,000 billion since 1960. This includes gains in our lifespan of eight years and markedly improved quality of life and avoided costs of illness.
  • This injection of $500 million into health and medical research funding will significantly build on our past success by enhancing resources to:
    • fund more world standard health and medical research projects,
    • keep pace with the increasing costs of such research,
    • support longer-term research projects, and
    • foster and retain health and medical research expertise in Australia.
  • By 2009-10, the Government will have increased by four times its annual investment in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants for HMR since 1999-00 (the year before funding expansion began).

Who will benefit?

  • This measure will deliver returns, many times the level of investment, in improving the lives of Australians and strengthening Australia’s knowledge-based economy.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

  • The Government has committed an additional $500 million over four years to increase funding for health and medical research grants provided through the NHMRC.

What have we done in the past?

  • This funding is in addition to $200 million provided over seven years, announced in the 2004-05 Budget and provided primarily to assist independent medical research institutes to cover overhead infrastructure costs.
  • The Government’s decision to implement the recommendations of the 1999 Health and Medical Research Strategic Review (Wills Review), saw funding for health and medical research grants double to more than $430 million in 2005-06.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • The four year funding increase builds up to an additional $234 million in 2009-10. This amount is included in the Forward Estimates from 2010-11, subject to a review in the 2009-10 Budget.

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