"We welcome the targeted investment in research and health system initiatives": response to Australia's Federal Budget

Statement from Executive Director, The George Institute Australia, Professor Vlado Perkovic.

“The George Institute welcomes the targeted investment in research and health system initiatives as announced in the 2017/18 Federal Budget.

“If we are to create a truly healthy Australia and bring our health system into the 21st century, we need to be smart about health and research spend. We need to focus investment where the value-add is greatest, and stop the devastating impact of chronic disease and injury on the lives of so many Australians.

“The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a landmark initiative that will support providers and researchers in making Australians healthier, and designing a health system that meets the needs of all Australians.

“We support the first tranche of MRFF funding announcements as a positive and sensible approach to achieving these goals.

“The investment in Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres is an important step in delivering better healthcare for all Australians. These internationally-recognised leaders in healthcare and research offer a highly effective pathway for the development and translation of new discoveries.

“The commitment to clinical researchers is crucial to our ability to conduct high-quality research and deliver the best medical care. These are the individuals best placed to identify the most important issues, and to implement research findings. It provides much hope in a highly competitive and limited research funding environment; and will enable universities and research institutes to develop the next generation of world leading health and medical researchers. We look forward to finding out more detail about this in due course.

“We also welcome the funding for prevention, as the most efficient and effective way to improve health. We commend the Government’s foresight in investing where there’s immediate potential for real, lasting impact on health outcomes.

“Innovation must also underpin future investment in health and research to ensure the sustainability of our health system and its ability to cope with the rising demands and costs of treating chronic disease and injuries.”