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Wednesday, 22 March 1972
Page: 777


Senator TOWNLEY (TASMANIA) - My question also is directed to the Minister for Health and it concerns something which I mentioned towards the end of last year. Is the Minister aware that many top medical research men are still leaving this country apparently because of lack of finance made available by the Commonwealth for medical research? Will the Government give favourable consideration to making more money available for this field of endeavour?


Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - This question was posed to me not so long ago. 1 then made the point that it is true that in the medical profession young doctors in particular go overseas to take higher degrees, notably the FRCS, which is one of the most significant qualifications. It is equally true that some go overseas in order to participate in fields of deeper research and many of them bring back to Australia the benefits of the higher education and research in their disciplines to use in the best interests of this country.

I do not think that in a reply one can be as categorical as the question suggests. To attempt to do so one would need to deal with individual cases. Many great Australian physicians and surgeons have gone overseas and become world famous. It is equally true that men who have received their tertiary education and gained university degrees in Australia, have gone overseas, acquired extra knowledge, come back here and given this knowledge in the interests of the nation with great distinction. I would wish to be more precise about the matter. I have just been handed a document from the Department of Health referring to the National Health and Medical Research Council, which states:

In the 71st Session, the Council completed its major grant making programme for 1971. Grants from the Medical Research Endowment Fund totalling $2,2*1,883 were recommended for the support of 253 medical research projects ($1,946,681), SO Medical and Dental Postgraduate Research Scholarships ($297,925); and 5 Public Health Travelling Fellowships ($71,277).







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