Medibank Private sale to boost medical research for all Australians

All Australians will benefit from the Federal Government's commitment to boost health and medical research funding as a result of the sale Medibank Private, according to Research Australia, the nation's leading health and medical research advocacy body.

Research Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Christine Bennett today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to increase funding for health and medical research in the 2006-07 Federal Budget anticipated in today's joint announcement by The Minister for Health and Ageing and Minister for Finance and Administration.

"Linking the sale of Medibank Private to increased funding of medical research makes sense. This investment will benefit the future health of our community while playing a vital role in strengthening Australia's economic growth," Dr Bennett said.

"Independent studies have shown that the health and medical research sector generates higher financial returns than investment in other research sectors, making increased health and medical research funding good social and economic sense."

The Grant Report, an Investment Review of Health and Medical Research (December 2004), demonstrated impressive returns from the Government's investment to date and recommended further staged increases.

Research Australia's 2005 Public Opinion Poll rated health and medical research as a top priority for Australia's future. 86% of Australians said they would like to see much more government funding for health and medical research.

"Today's announcement is a welcome sign of things to come. Research Australia and the wider health and medical research community looks forward to further details in the 2006-07 Budget."

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About Research Australia
Research Australia is a unique national alliance of over 180 member and donor organisations with a common mission to make health and medical research a higher national priority. For more information on Research Australia and Public Opinion Polling visit www.researchaustralia.org

Media contacts:
Dr Christine Bennett 0417 282 700
Rebecca James 0408 120 241


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