Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb
Burnet Institute has joined members of the Medical Research Future Fund Action Group in welcoming the Federal Government’s revised funding package for the AUD$20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb said he’s hopeful the changes announced on Tuesday by the Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott and Minister for Health the Hon. Peter Dutton attract cross-party support to enable the MRFF to be realised.
Professor Crabb described proposed protections for disadvantaged patients as a positive new initiative.
Under the Government’s proposal, pensioners, children, concession cardholders and other vulnerable Australians will be exempt from any increases in GP costs.
“The MRFF was a shining light in the budget and there’s tremendous impetus to have it happen, and have it happen soon,” Professor Crabb said.
“We are now a step closer to achieving that. There’s now some clarity around the MRFF.”
Professor Crabb said the demand for health and medical research is increasing as Australia’s population ages.
“More than seven million Australians, including almost all people aged 65 and over, live with a chronic illness,” he said.
“This is a time when research must be supported to find answers to these intractable and nationally debilitating problems.”
The MRFF Action Group brings together members from organisations representing all of Australia’s health and medical researchers advocating for the MRFF and the benefits it will bring to the nation’s health and prosperity.
MRFF Action Group Chair Peter Scott said the MRFF needs to be funded to the scale and timeframe that was proposed in the May 2014 budget.
“It’s imperative that the MRFF reaches its full capitalisation of $20 billion in order for an additional $1 billion in funding per year to be delivered to health and medical research in Australia,” Mr Scott said.
The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) called on Federal MPs to put party politics aside to facilitate an agreement.
“The MRFF is critical to bring Australia’s health and medical sector back into line with comparable nations in terms of research investment,” AAMRI President, Professor Doug Hilton said.