Western Australia is poised to be a leader in the future of health and medicine after the Western Australian Future Fund Amendment (Future Health Research and Innovation Fund) Bill passed State Parliament today.
The milestone legislation will give Western Australian health and medical researchers and innovators a secure and ongoing source of funding that will include an initial commitment of an extra $37 million over the next three years.
The legislation repurposes the $1.4 billion WA Future Fund – allowing interest earned on it to be directed to local health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation.
Under the fund’s ramp-up program the first year’s allocation, expected to be up to $6 million, will be dedicated to COVID-19 research, including the McGowan Government’s nation-leading DETECT program.
The DETECT program tests selected cohorts of asymptomatic people in order to learn more about COVID-19. It is currently examining education and FIFO groups. Other cohorts being investigated for potential inclusion include health care, aged care, police, retail, hospitality and meat workers.
Going beyond COVID-19, the increased certainty provided by the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund is expected to help create health sector jobs, diversify the economy, improve patient care, and help Western Australia retain its brightest health researchers, innovators and clinicians, as well as attract global projects and partnerships.
The full media statement can be found on the Government of Western Australia’s website.