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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The WA Government should be congratulated for its latest round of medical research funding, but much more should be done, Australian Medical Association President Dr Richard Choong said today.
“The latest round of state research funding demonstrates just how much talent, knowledge, drive and research capacity Western Australia has,” Dr Choong said.
“It is obvious that if the money for research is available, the projects and expertise are readily available locally. The AMA (WA) therefore calls on the State Government to immediately increase funding for medical research. This would go a long way to stop the worrying brain-drain of skilled researchers to Melbourne, Sydney and overseas that WA currently faces,” he said.
Earlier this year the AMA (WA) met all political parties to argue for the establishment of a Medical Research Council with funding of $40 million a year. Instead, Premier Barnett established a ‘Round Table’ on science; a step forward in the right direction for research in the State, but well below what is required for WA to compete with the Eastern states.
“From the evidence tabled by economic researchers at the Paxon Group, we know that Western Australia suffers from a dramatic funding shortfall in comparison to the rest of the country,” Dr Choong said.
“We shouldn’t have our economy based solely on mining, but also take advantage of the medical and research skills we have in WA.
“By developing a strong and growing medical research component to our culture and economy, WA can begin to insulate itself from the economic storm currently assaulting us.
“There’s no doubt WA has the research capacity; we have the researchers who in turn have the drive, intelligence and the keen inquisitiveness necessary to excel in research. What we don’t have it seems, is the political will to turn WA into a research powerhouse that rivals our Eastern State counterparts,” Dr Choong said.