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$12.5 million for health & medical research in W.A.

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The Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge Minister for Health and Family Services _ . „

Embargo: 3pm AEST

MW 131e/97 ' 17 November 1997


The Federal Government today announced researchers, institutions and universities in Western Australia would receive $12.5 million in 1998 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for research projects involving laboratory investigations through to clinical treatments and public health strategies.

The Federal Minister for Health and Family Services, Dr Michael Wooldridge, said the Federal Government's entire package o f $163 million was the highest annual amount ever committed under the NHMRC program.

“The Coalition Government recognises the vital role researchers and their institutions play in developing greater health knowledge and advancing the field o f medicine,” Dr Wooldridge said.

“One o f the great talents o f Australia is our remarkable capacity for medical research. The path-breaking work being done in many areas o f medical treatment and medical science is without peer in the world.

“The package o f $12.5 million for 151 research grants and research training awards in Western Australia is part o f a significant investment in the future o f this country which will ultimately improve the health o f Australians and reduce the burden o f the health care system on taxpayers,” he said.

Dr Wooldridge said a diverse range o f projects would be undertaken in Western Australia including a study on screening for prostate cancer, the management o f women with abnormal pap smears, calcium and its role in hearing, and airway inflammation in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“A large number o f these projects fall into the National Priority Health areas o f cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health, injury prevention and diabetes, as well as supporting Federal Government initiatives in the area of HTV/AIDS, drug and alcohol misuse and Aboriginal and

Torres Strait Islander health.

“A proportion o f the research funding has also been allocated to the Howard Florey Centenary Research Fellowships, which is a special program introduced this year to encourage bright, young Australian researchers who are working overseas to come back home to further their

careers,” D r Wooldridge said.

Media contact: Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge's office (02) 6277 7220 Dr Warwick Anderson, NHMRC (03) 9905 2555 Simon Brady, NHMRC media relations (02))62i89^5468£ALTH

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