A plan to boost Victoria’s medical research into heart disease is critical to the state’s post-COVID comeback but needs government backing, the Heart Foundation says.
The Heart Foundation has called on the Victorian Government to fund three research grants, each valued at $300,000, into the prevention, causes and treatment of the state’s single biggest killer – heart disease.
These grants, in partnership with the Foundation, would deliver a $900,000 investment in targeted, high impact heart disease research over three years if accepted in the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget.
As the biggest non-government funder of heart disease research, the Foundation welcomes the opportunity to work with state government to deliver outcomes that can save more Victorian lives.
Heart Foundation Victorian CEO Kellie-Ann Jolly said Victoria relies on medical research and development to create jobs and drive growth, making it essential to the state’s economy.
“In our state alone, medical research and development employs more than 40,000 workers and generates more than $10 billion for the state’s economy. It is critical to Victoria’s post-COVID comeback,” Ms Jolly said.
But if we’re to realise the full potential of Victoria’s capabilities in medical research, especially into the leading causes of chronic disease and death, we need to continue to invest in our best and brightest researchers.
Ms Jolly said the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Victoria’s leading medical research community.
“It has shut down and delayed clinical trials, limited the activities of universities and research institutes, and threatened the careers of highly skilled researchers.
“All this has happened at a time when there has never been a greater need to support the more than 300,000 Victorians living with heart disease and the tens of thousands more at high risk of conditions like heart attack and stroke.
“This requires substantial investment in medical research, together with proven practices that we know work, like digital healthcare and anti-tobacco legislation.
“These are the priorities we are calling for the state government to fund for the benefit of all Victorians in the upcoming May budget.”
The Heart Foundation is also calling for a new Victorian Health and Medical Research Strategy with an increased focus on cardiovascular disease.
Heart, stroke and blood vessel disease (known as cardiovascular disease), kills on average more than 30 Victorians each day and hospitalises more than 380.
The Heart Foundation’s Victorian Government Pre-Budget Submission 2021-22 can be read here.