The future health of Australians under threat

12 Apr 2011

The directors of Queensland’s leading medical research institutes have joined forces to speak out against significant funding cuts to medical research foreshadowed in the upcoming Federal Budget.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the peak body for funding medical research in Australia, is under threat to lose millions. Current funding for medical research represents less than 2 percent of federal health expenditure..[1]

Directors from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR); The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), Diamantina Institute (UQDI), Queensland Brain Institute, and Faculty of Health Sciences; Mater Medical Research Institute; QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI); Wesley Research Institute (WRI) and the Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute (QCMRI) urge the Australian Government to take a long-term view and at least maintain current investment in medical research – the health of all Australians depends on it.

Protecting medical research funding is an investment in the future health of Australians. Medical advances have not only saved lives but have reduced healthcare costs, attracted international investment and built new industries.

Not only is medical research an investment in our health but it also delivers a positive economic return to the country. Every $1 invested in Australian health R&D, returns on average $2.17 in health benefits. [2]

National Health and Medical Research Council funding supported more than 8,000 jobs in Australia in 2010. Significant budget cuts will force our best scientists overseas to work in countries that value and support medical research, decreasing our ability to respond to the specific healthcare needs of Australians.

Queensland has worked hard to establish itself as the Smart State and a leader in health and medical research – reduced funding for medical research will risk losing our best researchers and jeopardising the future health of all Australians.


[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2010.

[2] Access Economics, 2008.