Medical research a winner in WA election with $1 billion funding promise from Labor

Medical research a winner in WA election with $1 billion funding promise from Labor

14th March, 2017

Health and medical research will be one of the big winners from the forming of a Labor Government in Western Australia after the weekend’s election, Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes President Professor Tony Cunningham AO says.

Western Australian Labor Leader Mark McGowan had put health and medical research front and centre of the WA campaign with the promise of a $1.1 billion Future Health Research and Innovation (HRI) Fund.

According to the proposal, the current WA Future Fund would be re-purposed to create an investment fund, with the interest generated from this fund being made available, by application, for high quality research projects, and growing WA’s health and scientific communities as global leaders in medical research and innovation.

The HRI fund would have a focus on research relating to cancers, child health and other diseases in which WA has an international standing, and an Actuarial Board of accomplished individuals would be appointed to oversee it.

WA Labor also promised to develop a cancer research plan that would improve cancer research and treatment over the next decade. The plan would include consulting scholars, researchers, consumers, carers and medical research stakeholders to reach agreement on a long-term strategic approach to cancer research in the state.

“This HRI fund represents one of the most significant new investments in health and medical research by a state government for many years,” Professor Cunningham said.

“It’s wonderful to see such forward thinking through investing in health and medical research. The pharmaceuticals and medical devices sector is the best-performing smart industry in Australia, so it offers significant returns to state governments in employment terms.

“While our medical researchers work to save the lives of Australians, and those around the world, the economic benefits of their research are also well known, and growing. Not only does this research lead to treatments that save lives, it also leads to reduced costs through improved diagnostics, leading to more targeted treatments and a better understanding of conditions that can prevent them from occurring in the first place.

“Funding health and medical research is one of the best investments a government can make, be it at a state or federal level.”

Media Contact: Rebecca Thorpe, 0401 419 590, rebecca.thorpe@aamri.org.au.