It would take a decade to recover the lost research capability of Australian universities if the Federal Government was to cut $400 million in medical research funding, according to Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber.
Professor Barber (pictured) said the $400 million cut to National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding mooted in media reporting would lead to extensive job losses and a major ‘brain drain’ as the best researchers sought opportunities overseas.
“Medical research is a vital investment in the future health of our nation,” Professor Barber said today as researchers rallied at Parliament House.
“Such research tackles the diseases and medical conditions that cripple our wellbeing and add to the national cost of health care,” he said.
“Research breakthroughs that solve these medical riddles add to our productivity and boost our economic performance. As such, research funding is as much an economic issue as it is a budgetary issue and I hope the Federal Government recognises this fact in its Budget deliberations.
“As 1500 students graduate from Flinders University this week, a number of them will aspire to medical research and, through doing so, contribute to a better world. Now is not the time for the Federal Government to dash those aspirations and impact on all of the existing great work being undertaken in laboratories around the country.”