Media release: Three critical priorities to safeguard Australia’s health and medical research

Media release: Three critical priorities to safeguard Australia’s health and medical research

26th April, 2022

AAMRI Election Statement:

Three critical priorities to safeguard Australia’s health and medical research

This election the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) is calling on all parties and candidates to prioritise, fund and ensure the long-term security of medical research, and its highly skilled workforce.

Australia’s previous investment in medical research has been a significant boon to our nation’s health, wellbeing, and economy.

To make sure Australia can continue to respond to future health challenges such as chronic diseases, an ageing population and continuing COVID-19 impacts, this election we need to focus on maintaining the strength of our medical research sector and its highly-skilled workforce.

With Australia’s medical research workforce facing a lack of long-term career sustainability, now is the time to act. Medical research is amongst the most unstable and precarious of career pathways, with many talented researchers finding it impossible to sustain a long-term career with such limited funding opportunities.

In the Election Statement AAMRI has outlined the need for a national strategy for health and medical research, a plan to support our research workforce, and imperatively, build Australian Government investment in key medical research funding programs to $3 billion per year by 2032

AAMRI President, Professor Kathryn North AC, said that Australia continues to tackle long-term, complex health problems but we can only solve these problems with reliable, ongoing support for all stages of research.

“To keep Australia’s healthcare system strong, resilient and sustainable, we need continued strong support for Australian health and medical research, especially our talented workforce,” said Professor North.

Professor North said there are opportunities to be more efficient and effective in how medical research is supported.

“Developing a new national health and medical research strategy will identify where our strengths and weaknesses lie and provide a plan to address these – benefitting our researchers and Australian communities.”

AAMRI has outlined three critical priorities:

  • Develop a national health and medical research strategy that sets out Australia’s research priorities and investments.
  • Develop a national health and medical research workforce plan, paired with immediate initiatives to attract and retain Australia’s next generation of research leaders.
  • Build Australia’s medical research investment through the NHMRC and MRFF to $3 billion per year by 2032.

AAMRI will be seeking responses from the major parties and publishing these responses. More information is available at www.aamri.org.au/election2022.