15 May 2024

The Budget 2024–25, delivered on 14 May 2024, confirms the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting health and medical research and its translation into new health treatments and technologies to improve the health of the Australian community.

The Government’s new National Health and Medical Research Strategy will help Australia build a sustainable research pipeline – from discovery and innovation to translation and commercialisation. The National Strategy will build on Australia’s national strengths and fill any gaps, while attracting researchers and investors. It will cover the entire sector and include all levels of government, industry, philanthropy, academia and consumers. Work on developing the National Strategy will be led by the Department of Health and Aged Care, in collaboration with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

NHMRC’s Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA) continues to grow with indexation with total funding reaching over $3.8 billion over the Budget and forward estimates (to 2027–28), which includes $940 million being applied to the MREA in 2024–25.

The Budget also provided $9.0 million to NHMRC in 2023–24 for increased operational costs, including implementation of the Sapphire grants management system.

The Government has committed an additional $1.4 billion over 13 years from 2024–25 through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to continue to invest in medical research in Australia, for a total commitment through the MRFF of $6.4 billion over 13 years in research funding.

This includes funding for two new 10-year MRFF Missions to address factors that reduce life expectancy and cause poorer health among Australians:

  • The Low Survival Cancers Mission will investigate ways to improve outcomes for Australians with cancers where less than 50% of people survive more than 5 years after diagnosis. It will give people with pancreatic, lung and liver cancer, among others, greater hope for a longer future with their family and friends.
  • The Reducing Health Inequities Mission will improve access to quality health services and ensure they are safe, appropriate and welcoming. The mission will address the poorer health outcomes experienced by groups including First Nations people, LGBTIQA+ people, people with a disability and people from diverse backgrounds.

More information is available at the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

The Government will also provide $18.8 million over two years to continue the development of the National One Stop Shop for Clinical Trials and Human Research, which will harmonise and streamline the administration and regulation of clinical research. An easy-to-use website will help people, researchers and industry find, conduct and participate in clinical trials and research.