Govt’s $200M Dementia Funding Plans Underway
24 June 2014 at 10:12 am
Dementia research leaders, community advocates and Federal and State Government representatives have come together to discuss how the Federal Government could best direct the $200 million promised to dementia research as part of the 2014-2015 Budget.
As part of the Budget, the Government committed $200 million over five years – which includes $40 million in 2018-19 – to boost research to improve the treatment of dementia in Australia.
The experts met in a meeting hosted by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said the meeting was essential to ensure that the funding would have as much benefit as possible for people with dementia, their carers and families.
"We need to ensure this funding builds on our strengths in dementia research and that we offer a meaningful contribution to other research already underway, both in Australia and around the world,” Prof Anderson said.
“What we do with this investment should break new ground for patient care and leave a legacy for future dementia research.”
Key directions from the forum included:
The need for strong involvement from people with dementia, their carers and families in all aspects of research, translation and care; and the need to address the stigma of dementia;
The importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration to develop and address the key questions for dementia research – including other areas not traditionally involved in medical research such as engineering and physics;
Acknowledgement of other major international efforts to combat dementia, and the need for Australians to be involved in these to ensure patients benefit from all cutting-edge research;
The need to involve clinicians, including allied health practitioners, to translate research findings into practice and policy.
“Finding ways to prevent dementia, as well as developing new treatments and models of care for those already suffering dementia is no easy task, but one that I am certain our research community is up to,” Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton said.
“The Government’s $200 million boost is the first of its kind for dementia research in Australia and links our research with key international initiatives underway in the US and Europe.”
As part of its $200 million Budget commitment to dementia research, the Federal Government said medical scientists and researchers would also be supported by increasing the number of available research grants, scholarships and fellowships for dementia related research, including $26 million of Australian Research Council funding.
It said that additional assistance would be provided to the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research, which focuses on the prevention and treatment of dementia.
It also said the funding would help establish a National Institute for Dementia Research to identify and coordinate research priorities and translate existing dementia research into policy and practice.