Medical research funding: how much and where

Apart from it’s not being enough according to lobby groups – how much does Australia actually spend on medical research?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare  reports spending for 2018-19.

All public and private spending measured in constant dollars was $6.297bn – up from $5,794bn in -18-19 and well ahead of the previous peak of $6.11bn in 2013-14.

The growth over two decades is substantial, 1998-’99 the all-sources constant dollar figure was $1.38bn.

Public spending was $5.88bn in ’18-19, up on $5.78bn in ’13-’14.

Non-government funding was $412m, marginally down on the previous year and not that much higher than the previous peak of $395m in 2009-09.

In terms of state shares of total funding, it is NSW and Victoria and then daylight.

NSW researchers had $2.07bn and Victorians $1.81bn in ’18-’19 with Queensland third at $1bn. The ACT is fourth at $554m. Queensland is the big improver, with research spending growing from $177m in ’96-’97 to $1bn.

Apart from a one-off spike in NSW in ’07-’08 researchers in Victoria received the biggest share of non-government funding until 2010-11, when NSW established a continuing lead. The most recent figures are Victoria $128m and NSW $178m.