Coalition’s promise resuscitates medical research reform

Burnet Institute

25 June, 2013

The Hon Tony Abbott announces the Coalition's commitment to health and medical research at the Institute's Parliament House event in Canberra. Photo credit: Leigh Atkinson, Imagemakers.

The Burnet Institute has welcomed the Coalition’s election promise committing to medical research reform.

Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP made the announcement last night at Burnet’s special function marking 30 years since the discovery of HIV at Parliament House in Canberra.

Mr Abbott said the Coalition, if elected, would seek to streamline medical research grants, lengthen grant terms to five years and reform ethics approvals for clinical trials.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb said the reforms would be a step in the right direction, providing career stability to Australia’s medical researchers and freeing them from the burden of paperwork to focus their efforts on innovative research.

“Medical research is essential for the discovery of new therapies to improve health. But just as importantly, medical research is essential to reining in the Federal Budget’s ballooning health expenditure,” Professor Crabb said.

“Constant funding uncertainty and an increasingly onerous grants system have been significant impediments to a sustainable medical research sector and to the ongoing job security of the thousands of researchers who dedicate their lives to improving the health of Australians.”

Professor Crabb said that the Coalition policy was based to a large degree on the findings of the McKeon Review of Health and Medical Research, released earlier this year.

“We are pleased that the findings of the Review have been heeded and that policy decisions are being made to significantly improve the medical research sector, which will provide long lasting benefits for a healthier Australia,” he said.

CLICK HERE to read the Coalition’s announcement in full.

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes have posted their response to the Coalition’s commitment HERE.

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Burnet Institute

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