What will Australian medical research look like post-coronavirus?
The Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told the ABC that Australia’s response to COVID-19 could pave the way for new medical research in the country.
Australia’s relatively low numbers of COVID-19 have meant medical research can continue in local institutes, as other countries don’t face the same fortune.
“One thing we can do, because we’ve been COVID safe, because our health system is seen as doing so well, we have a golden opportunity to be a global leader in attracting new medical research, technology and clinical trials to Australia,” Mr Hunt said on Insiders.
IHMRI’s Executive Director and CEO Distinguished Professor David J. Adams agreed with the comments from Mr Hunt, but explained that medical institutes need financial support now more than ever.
“We really need appropriate government funding for medical research and not relying on universities cross-subsidising from international student fees,” said Professor Adams.
To date, IHMRI has been successful in receiving numerous research grants from both state and federal governments. In April, Professor Adams’ and Dr. Monique Francois received a share in $20 million from the NSW Government, for their cardiovascular research projects.
The following month, IHMRI affiliate Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen received a $1 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council, to tackle superbugs.
But Professor Adams said grants these grants only go so far.
“The funding provided for medical research in Australia doesn’t cover the full cost of actually doing the research. Greater transparency in the funding of medical research is also required,” he said.
Professor Adams hopes that a focus on Australian health and medical research will allow IHMRI’s more up-and-coming researchers to thrive in a competitive environment.
“What more Australian research opportunities would mean for IHMRI, is that it would hopefully help retain our best and brightest researchers – particularly our talented early-career researchers to be able to continue to pursue a career in health and medical research.”
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