A group of high-profile Australians, including eminent medical researchers, will headline a new community-led campaign to promote the Medical Research Future Fund and the importance of health and medical research to Australia’s future.
When fully funded, the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will be a $20 billion endowment fund with annual distributions of around $1 billion.
The “What’s the fuss?” campaign was launched yesterday, including a television and online campaign featuring Carrie Bickmore, Ita Buttrose, Natasha Stott Despoja, and former Australians of the Year Sir Gustav Nossal and Professor Patrick McGorry, along with patients and medical researchers from around Australia, all asking “What’s the fuss?” about medical conditions such as dementia, brain cancer, heart disease, and mental illness.
MRFF Action Group Chair Peter Scott said these conditions and many more were certainly worthy of fuss.
“As the television commercial says, the fuss is that without serious investment, health and medical research in Australia will fall behind and hope for discoveries leading to cures, better treatments and diagnostics for all these conditions and many more will disappear,” said Mr Scott.
“The MRFF is the serious investment in health and medical research that Australia needs, and we are grateful that it is receiving the fuss it deserves thanks to so many high profile people being so generous with their time in filming with us, simply because they care so much about improved funding for medical research.
“As a protected, perpetual fund, the Australian Government’s MRFF will lead to many more medical discoveries and help us make our health system more effective and efficient by doubling the government’s investment in medical research.
“The fuss is for all of us, for our future, and for the important role the MRFF will play in that.”
Mr Scott encouraged people to share their stories about the need for medical research through the What’s the fuss? website – www.whatsthefuss.org.au.
“Every day we hear stories about people taken far too soon by conditions that we should be able to cure, so long as we have the money to conduct the necessary research,” Mr Scott said.
“We want our website to become a home for people to tell their personal stories about themselves and their loved ones, be they medical research success stories to give hope to others, or about the conditions that need more research to make a difference.
“I could talk all day about the economic arguments for health and medical research – they are abundant, whether you’re talking savings to our health system or the much needed growth of the innovative jobs of our future. But beyond economics, there are the people we’ve lost, such as our group’s founding chair, Alastair Lucas, who died of brain cancer recently. For him before he died, and for all who loved him, there was that crucial intangible that medical research delivers: hope. Hope for a treatment, for a cure. Hope is priceless,” he added