Australian Budget 2019: Billions for health innovation and research

‘Cutting-edge technology’ will be pushed across Australia’s health sector thanks to a AU$5 billion funding injection, with another AU$200 million given to My Health Record.

The Australian government will be investing in "life-saving technologies", with AU$5 billion to be set aside for its 10-year investment plan for the Medical Research Future Fund across health innovation development, clinical trials, and medical research.

"The government will commit a further AU$931 million for a total of AU$1.3 billion allocated under the Investment Plan to improve the health of Australians through the development of new treatments and cures informed by the latest research and use of cutting-edge technology," the 2019-20 Federal Budget documents said.

The health innovation fund will be given AU$50 million in 2018-19 -- AU$36.7 million in New South Wales and AU$13.3 million in Western Australia -- and AU$50 million in 2020-21 to "support the delivery of projects in health prevention and the better use of health data".

The federal government's contentious My Health Record has also been given an additional AU$200 million in 2019-20 to continue the deployment of the system.

"The My Health Record system allows individuals to control and track their medical history and treatments, such as medical tests, use of medicines, and vaccinations," the government said.

Health innovation is also being pushed through a AU$4.4 million four-year funding injection to implement recommendations from the Third Review of the National Gene Technology Scheme.

The federal government will also fund the establishment of a proton beam therapy facility to research and trial new technologies for cancer treatment in partnership with South Australia, with AU$40.7 million in 2018-19 and AU$27.3 million in 2021-22 allocated for this.

How much of the Budget becomes enacted remains to be seen, as the government is expected to call a May election this weekend.

Australian Budget 2019 Coverage