Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 – The Australian Government’s Response

Pre-Budget Submission 2021–22 - Building Back Better: Investing in Five Medical Research Ideas

Over the past year, Australians have been deeply impacted by COVID-19. In response, the Australian Government has delivered stable and decisive leadership, world-leading infection control, economy saving JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs and now a national vaccine program.

The Government has much to be pleased with but the impacts have been large and the 2021-22 Budget will be about economic recovery and ‘building back better’. ‘Building back better’ was first coined by the United Nations in 2015 for risk reduction following disaster and is being applied to the post-COVID-19 recovery plans. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) encourages COVID-19 responses that “trigger investment and behavioural changes” and economic interventions that that will “reduce the likelihood of future shocks and increase society’s resilience to them when they do occur.”

To this end The George Institute for Global Health has identified ‘’building back better’’ opportunities in health and medical research. Investment in heathier societies produces broad societal gains but very clear economic returns – health research investment stimulates the economy, with every $1 invested in medical research returns $3.90 to the budget.

The George Institute’s submission, ‘Building Back Better: Investing in Five Medical Research Ideas’ recommends the Australian Government’s Budget 2021-22 supports and prioritises:

  • Join Us: a national research register to increase our global competitiveness;
  • Sepsis: reducing preventable death and disability;
  • Gender equity: reducing sex and gender biases in research
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; and
  • The Health Innovation Hub: to turn ideas into products.

Download our 2020-2021 Pre-Budget Submission (PDF 484 KB)