Budget funding for medical research welcomed

Burnet Institute

29 March, 2022

Burnet Institute has welcomed medical research funding of AUD $6.8 billion over the next four years announced in the Federal budget.

COVID-19 and the pandemic response is a key health area targeted in the budget, including previously announced funding of AUD $100 million over five years for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and a further $85 million to access vaccines for low-income countries through the COVAX Facility.

The Budget also provides for increased investment in overseas aid to address the immediate COVID-19 crisis and other global health issues, along with a AUD $77 million increase in spending for global health programs and five-year extension of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security

As well there’s an extension of temporary and targeted packages aimed at supporting the economic and social recovery from COVID-19 in our Pacific and South East Asian neighbours.

Burnet Director Professor Brendan Crabb AC welcomed the increased investment in overseas aid in his role as Chair of the Australian Global Health Alliance, but said Australia risks losing ground in global health without further long-term commitments.

“Pleased as we are with this commitment, the funding increase announced by the Commonwealth is temporary and cuts are still built into the forward estimates,” Professor Crabb said.

“This ignores the medium to long-term nature of responding to COVID-19, including the profound effects of the pandemic on health more generally.

“We must invest strongly to address immediate global health needs, protect our hard-fought progress, and prepare us to tackle new health threats in the future.”

The budget confirmed previously announced funding associated with an agreement with Moderna to establish sovereign mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability in collaboration with the Victorian Government.

The facility will be based in Victoria to provide Australia with priority access to mRNA vaccines and support research and development and domestic preparedness for possible future pandemics.

Other Budget highlights include:

The Budget provides AUD $28.1 million, previously announced, over four years to establish Genomics Australia, to drive the translation and integration of genomics into the Australian healthcare system.

Of the total allocated to medical research AUD $2.6 billion will come from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), a AUD $20 billion long-term investment supporting Australian health and medical research.

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Burnet Institute

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