A major medical research lobby has a modest budget bid, at least by industry standards.
The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes asks the Morrison Government to maintain the promised $7.8bn cash commitment to the Medical Research Future Fund, so it reaches the long-established target of $20.2bn in 2020-21.
AAMRI also argues the Department of Health has promised to “support” institutions undertaking MRFF research projects with money for systemic costs incurred, “commercialisation services, IT, legal expenses, HR and building running costs.” It asks “a support mechanism be established as soon as possible.” This is on top of existing infrastructure support from the National Health and Medical Research Council which it wants increased from a present 20 cents to 30 cents on the NHMRC dollar by 2022-23.
The institute also calls for the index for funding for the NHMRC to be increased from 1.5 per cent, to an amount in the present budget to the Reserve Bank’s forecast inflation range – 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent. This AAMRI, suggests would cost just $4m more.
Modest amounts to be sure and it is hard to believe the association will be that upset if most are not delivered – as long as the scheduled deposit in the MRFF happens.