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Diabetes, dementia research shielded from cuts

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The Federal Government has directed that $103 million of research funds be used to help develop treatments for diabetes, dementia and tropical diseases.

In an announcement that shields at least some research spending from cutbacks as the Abbott Government works on framing an austere 2014-15 Budget, Education Minister Christopher Pyne said $35 million had been allocated over five years for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Clinical Research Network to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes, while $68 million would be spent to support work developing treatments for dementia and tropical diseases.

“Investing and supporting medical research is one of the best long-term investments in health that a government can make,” Mr Pyne said. “Diabetes and dementia, in particular, are among the biggest killers of Australians, so we must continue to fight these looming public health challenges by bringing our brightest and best minds to bear.”

The Minister said that not only would the funding support much-needed research, it would also have a payoff for the economy.

“Medical research has the power to significantly strengthen the economy and create thousands more jobs,” he said. “It is estimated that every dollar spent on medical research produces $2.17 in health benefits to the economy.”

Adrian Rollins