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  1. #1
    / nonsequitur's Avatar
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    Exclamation Australians - medical research budget to be cut by 20%

    I'll be the first to admit that I have a vested interest here, seeing as it's my field being directly affected. But this is still important, and I hope that you'll take an interest.

    The ALP Federal government is planning on cutting the National Health and Medical Research Center (NHMRC, the only source of federal medical research funding) budget by 20% over 3 years to "restore a budget surplus". At the same time, they are also planning on cutting the healthcare budget. This means that those least able to afford healthcare will be hit directly. So much for being the party for "working families".

    Here is Penny Wong's explanation of the ALP's stance: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1226036877643

    While I am personally financially conservative and approve of the principle of saving for a rainy day, consider that the research budget is merely $600 million a year. Compare that to the recent estimated cost of the NBN, at $44 BILLION. As a sidenote, the federal government also recently increased our olympic atheletes' training budget by $3 million. Their argument that the cuts "have to come from somewhere" and that healthcare/medical research cuts are a necessary evil just doesn't fly.

    Please, please take an interest in this. It affects lives, and the future of medical research (and correspondingly the cost of future healthcare) in Australia. That's an estimated 600 medical research labs to close over the next 3 years. The existing grant funding rate of the NHMRC is already low, at 13% last year. Is this how Julia Gillard intends to promote higher education?

    Many of us are going to attend a rally to protest these cuts tomorrow. It's the first time I've ever seen my supervisor give our research assistant the afternoon off work (that's not included in her allowed personal time). It's also the first time that I've ever gotten involved "politically". But I personally feel that it's not political, it's a statement supporting intellectual and human progress in Australia.

    Here are the rally times and venues that have been organised across the country:
    All the rallies (except for Perth) are organised for tomorrow.
    Melbourne - State Library of Victoria (Swanston Street), 12:45pm
    Sydney - Belmore Park (near Central Railway station), 12:45pm
    Adelaide - Steps of Parliament House, North Terrace, 12:30pm
    Canberra - JCSMR, ANU Building 131, 12:30pm
    Perth - Forrest Place, Murray Street Mall, Thursday April 14 commencing at 12pm.

    We are trying to attract as many people and as much media attention as possible. Please come if you can, or if you can't, we are also holding a virtual rally on twitter by using the hashtag #protectresearch at the time of the rally. Our campaign is called "Discoveries need dollars", and is organised by the Walter and Elizabeth Hall Institute in collaboration with many other research institutes and universities across the nation. Please support the people who have invested their lives in the future of your health.

  2. #2
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    The only part that sucks more is the NIH (USA) budget is also likely to be cut significantly.

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    it's a shortsighted decision.


  4. #4
    / nonsequitur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post


    The only part that sucks more is the NIH (USA) budget is also likely to be cut significantly.
    Obama and Cameron have pledged to continue their support for medical research, and their budgets are in far worse condition that ours. Bear in mind that it's not that Australia is going broke - this is to fulfill the labour promise that we will have a budget surplus in 2012.

    Strawberries, for sure. Today at the rally, I saw this hilarious sign that said "We'll cure your dementia, Gillard. No, really!"

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    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    Obama and Cameron have pledged to continue their support for medical research, and their budgets are in far worse condition that ours.
    Only a $260 million cut. That could easily be cut from the obscene HIV/AIDS budget that is way out of proportion to the DALYs and economic costs in the USA, compared to other diseases.

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    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...19/3195668.htm
    "PM backs away from medical research cuts"

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