2018-19 MYEFO update

2018-19 MYEFO update

17th December, 2018

The Treasurer has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) for 2018-19. This document is the mid-year Budget update and provides costing updates for policies that have previously been announced by the government, as well as some other new policy updates.

There were no changes announced to either the capitalisation of the MRFF, funding of the NHMRC, or funding of the ARC. This means the MRFF remains on track to be fully capitalised by 2020-21.

While it was a quiet MYEFO for medical research, financial details around a couple of medical research programs have been provided. In addition to this, some details relating to the previously flagged reduction in future growth to university research block grants has also been outlined. A summary of the main announcements is provided below.

Please contact AAMRI’s Director of Policy and Operations, Dr Peter Thomas, if you require any further information on this update – peter.thomas@aamri.org.au

University research block grants

The most significant announcement in MYEFO for the broader research sector related to the university research block grants. The research block grants provide vital support for research infrastructure as well as funding for higher degree research students. Reductions in future payments through this program had previously been flagged by the Education Minister.

MYEFO states that changes to the growth in funding available under the Research Block Grants scheme will achieve savings of $328.5 million over four years from 2018-19. Savings of $131 million had already been provided for by the Government, and the details of the further savings of $197 million were outlined in MYEFO.

2018-19
$M
2019-20
$M
2020-21
$M
2021-22
$M
Research block grants – growth adjustment -0.9 -39.2 -77.6 -79.4

 

Investing in Health and Medical Research – Australian Genomics Cancer Medicine Program

As announced by the Health Minister on 18 July 2018, the Government is providing $50 million over five years from 2018-19 (including $10 million in 2022-23) to enable the establishment of eight centres of excellence across Australia to deliver genomics-based clinical trials to around 5,000 people. The trials will be for people affected by rare, less comment and early onset cancers. Details of the funding are outlined in MYEFO as follows.

2018-19
$M
2019-20
$M
2020-21
$M
2021-22
$M
Investing in Health and Medical Research – Australian Genomics Cancer Medicine Program 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0

 

Stillbirth Research and Education

The Health Minister announced on 5 December that the Government will provide $6 million over three years from 2018-19 for medical research and education programs relating to stillbirth research and education. There will be $3 million for education and awareness programs, and $3 million for research which will be provided from the MRFF. In addition to this, the Government will provide $1.2 million to the University of Melbourne to minimise preventable stillbirth, with this funding already provided for in the forward estimates.

2018-19
$M
2019-20
$M
2020-21
$M
2021-22
$M
Support for Stillbirth Research and Education 1.5 1.5   —   —

 

Western Australian Children’s Health Telethon

The Government has provided $2 million in 2018-19 to the Channel 7 Telethon Trust to support children’s health in Western Australia. The Trust provides financial assistance to charitable organisations, children’s hospitals and funds for research into children’s diseases.

Community Health and Hospitals Program

The Government will provide $1.3 billion over four years from 2018-19 to establish the Community Health and Hospitals Program. The Program will fund projects and services in every state and territory, supporting patient care while reducing pressure on community and hospital services.

While this appears to primarily be a health delivery program, both MYEFO and the Health Minister’s media release on this state that the Government will partner with various stakeholders, including States and Territories, health and hospitals services, and research institutions to provide additional funding in four key areas:

  • specialist hospital services such as cancer treatment, rural health, and hospital infrastructure;
  • drug and alcohol treatment;
  • preventive, primary and chronic disease management; and
  • mental health.
2018-19
$M
2019-20
$M
2020-21
$M
2021-22
$M
Community Health and Hospitals Program 250.0 250.0 350.0 400.0

This update is based on Commonwealth of Australia Data extracted from the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2018-19