The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) has welcomed the introduction of legislation into Federal Parliament to establish the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and has urged all members and senators to support its passage.
An active health and medical research sector in Australia is essential to the future wellbeing of all Australians, and our nation’s economic future. With more than seven million Australians living with a chronic illness, the MRFF offers the injection of funds Australia needs just when it is needed most.
Australia trails behind comparable nations for government investment in health and medical research as a proportion of GDP, investing just 64 per cent of the OECD average. This is despite a $1 investment in medical research in Australia returning an average of $2.17 in health benefits to the nation.
As the Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, I have seen first-hand the impact that medical research can have through improving the quality of life of patients and reducing the impact of illness on families.
The MRFF is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the landscape of medical research in Australia, delivering benefits to the health of Australians while helping secure our nation’s future through the maintenance and creation of the high value jobs that we so desperately need.
The MRFF endowment fund will progressively grow over the next decade reaching $20 billion by 2022. Earnings from this endowment fund will eventually deliver an extra $1 billion annual investment in health and medical research. This is the sort of far-sighted public policy we so often encourage governments to undertake.
Surgery and other interventions can save hundreds of lives, but medical research can save thousands of lives both here in Australia, and around the world.