April 11, 2011  Print

The Westmead Millennium Institute is hoping to help prevent the federal government’s proposed plan to axe funding to medical research by $400 million.

WMI researchers and scientists will join nationwide rallies to protest against this massive cut to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s budget.

Professor Tony Cunningham, Executive Director of the Institute stated:

"Can you imagine the medical system if research funding is depleted by this amount? Longer term these cuts will not only hurt scientists working on life saving cures for cancers, infectious diseases and immunity deficiencies, but they will create a future shortage of researchers."

"Unfortunately WMI has already lost some of our dedicated researchers simply because of the already tenuous nature of research funding. Researchers need to be focusing on results and not worrying about their family’s financial security."

“We are seeking the communities support in rallies against the proposed cuts - medical research saves lives and also improves the quality of life for every Australian.

The Westmead Millennium Institute is one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes and has grown rapidly over the last decade. Funding cuts would be a significant blow to the institute that is currently in planning stages for a new building.

“Our new State Government has understood the importance of medical research by promising $30 million towards our new building. It is now important that our Federal Government does not cut back on the vital funding we need to fund the research.”

“Our institute helps improve the quality of health care and it is important that we can continue to provide educational opportunities and high skilled jobs for future research in Australia.” said Professor Cunningham.