Friday, April 15, 2011
Discoveries need dollars
Last week the Australian government announced they will be slicing 400 million dollars off NHMRC funding in the coming budget. Of course, it goes without saying that a loss of 400 million dollars to the Australian medical research community means lost jobs, defunded projects and ultimately the loss of lives and quality of life for Australians. In terms of CVD in the Australian community, in our cities we are well funded and stroke fatality is in decline; however, the vast land mass that is this enormous island has extreme health disparity. Remote populations in cities as large as Broome on Australia's west coast have access to one part-time GP; options like telemedicine are imperative in these communities but the funding behind these concepts must be continued. It is common knowledge among stroke practitioners that neuro-protectants are as yet ineffectual in humans, but animal model testing has shown possibilities of protection. Imagine a world where a potential stroke could be avoided all together; this is only possible with continued trial funding. Sex, depression, dementia and rehabilitation post stroke are burgeoning ares of study, these clinical and observational studies have enough difficulty in clinically dominant environments receiving funding for best practice trials. In Melbourne, the new amalgamated Florey Neuroscience Institute has two fabulous purpose built buildings, state of the art labs and collaborations with some of the best practitioners in the field of stroke. What was the point of the government funding these amazing spaces if there is a thinning stream of research outcomes, does it make it worth the communities money, because ultimately in every respect that's who pays for this enormous budget cut.
Posted by Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins at Friday, April 15, 2011