Establishing a New Medical Research Future Fund

Page last updated: 13 May 2014

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Joint Media Release

The Hon. J.B. Hockey
Treasurer

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

The Hon. Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Health

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Abbott Government is committed to an efficient and effective health system that delivers quality care now and into the future.

To support the sustainability of the health system into the future and drive further medical innovation, the Government will establish the Medical Research Future Fund as of 1 January 2015.

Medical research has a key role in improving health outcomes while at the same time making our health system sustainable in the decades ahead. Health and medical research, in our institutes, universities and increasingly, in our wards and practices, must be seen as part of the solution.

Every dollar of estimated savings in health expenditure announced in the 2014-15 Budget will be invested into the Medical Research Future Fund, until the value of the new fund reaches $20 billion.

Funding for the new Medical Research Future Fund will also include $1 billion of uncommitted funds within the existing Health and Hospital Fund.

The new fund will help realise the huge opportunities for research to boost illness prevention and promote early intervention, reducing health costs while improving health outcomes and delivering better quality of life.

The Medical Research Future Fund will be invested and managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians, which has a proven track record in managing investment portfolios on behalf of the Government and maximising returns over the long term.

The net earnings from the new Medical Research Future Fund for a given year will be available in the following year to fund medical research priorities, including through payments to the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Payments will commence in 2015-16.

The capital and any ongoing capital gains of the new Medical Research Future Fund will be preserved in perpetuity.

Existing commitments related to projects currently approved for funding from the Health and Hospital Fund will continue to be paid from that fund until its abolition and subsequently through new special appropriation provisions managed by the Department of Health.

The establishment of the Medical Research Future Fund is subject to the passage of legislation through Parliament.

This initiative is part of the Government’s Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.

Media Contacts:
Treasurer - Gemma Daley - 0418 148 821
Minister Cormann - Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
Minister Dutton - John Wiseman - 0401 776 108

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