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Australia's health and medical research sector is a world-class asset that delivers significant dividends and contributes to a vibrant and highly successful academic and biotech economy. This success is closely linked to a powerful and productive iMRI sector.

As well as playing a critical role in the transition from a minerals and manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy, iMRIs directly contribute to the health of all Australians. Every day, in every hospital in Australia, people benefit from treatments developed by iMRIs ranging from the Colony Stimulating Factor drugs that allow modern cancer chemotherapy to preventative programs for chronic disease. In Victoria alone, over 10,000 hospital patients a year benefit from treatment through the performance of research-sponsored trials[1] — treatment that would otherwise be unavailable or at best, funded directly from the government's health budget.

iMRIs also provide a critical interface between research excellence, healthcare and community need in a way that no other research organisation model is able to achieve. Through excellent governance and nimble management and organisational structures, iMRIs continue to surpass other research organisations in outcomes and efficiency.

However, the ability of the nation's iMRIs to continue to deliver these benefits is at risk because of the decreasing viability of the funding mechanisms that support them. In light of these challenges, the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute welcomes the opportunity to participate in this review.

The Baker Institutes's submission makes recommendations to strengthen the iMRI model by providing the sector with equitable funding as well as supporting iMRIs to embed research in the health system, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health services and improve health outcomes in Australia and world-wide.

Download our submission

[1] Funding for the Future, the case for increase indirect cost funding for Victorian MRIs, LEK Consultancy (2009)

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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