Burnet Institute welcomes the Victorian Government’s 2019-20 budget announcement of an additional AUD$116.5 million of new investment in medical research as a clear signal of the Government’s high regard for the sector, and its importance to the Victorian community.
Of special interest to Burnet is the Government’s commitment to provide ongoing funding for the PRONTO! community-based, peer-led, rapid HIV/STI testing service, a collaboration between Burnet, Thorne Harbour Health and the Gay Men’s Health Centre.
Another positive is support for the roll out of the life-saving anti-opioid drug, naloxone, and needle and syringe products to help address drug harms throughout the state, which complements the important work of Burnet’s Behaviours and Health Risks Program, led by Professor Paul Dietze.
Also significant is the creation of a Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development Fund, and a commitment for ongoing funding of the Commission for Children and Young People to oversee the safety and quality of care for children, and safeguard their rights.
Burnet Director and CEO, and President of the Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes, Professor Brendan Crabb AC, said the Victorian community stands to benefit enormously from these and other initiatives.
“Only with the ongoing support of the Victorian Government can our medical research institutes continue to deliver ground-breaking discoveries, and better health outcomes."
Other important initiatives announced by Victorian Treasurer, the Hon Tim Pallas MP include:
The establishment of the Australian Drug Discovery Centre at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research to support the translation of biomedical research discoveries into new drugs for patients
The Australian Clinical Trials Network, which will increase access to clinical trials, particularly for patients living in regional and rural communities
The establishment of a Gamma Knife Service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to provide a greater range of treatment options for cancer patients.
“Victoria’s medical research sector is both a national and indeed a world leader,” Professor Crabb said.
“This investment will help to maintain our competitiveness, and we look forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure our sector continues growing and supporting Australians in the future.”
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