The Government is planning to set up a new medical research fund, called the Medical Research Future Fund, to be established on 1 January 2015. This fund will provide financial assistance to Australian medical research, the idea being that better health research will lead to a healthier population, which, in the long run, should help to reduce the cost of healthcare.
As part of the Federal Budget 2015, the Government has promised that “every dollar of estimated savings in health expenditure announced in the 2014-15 Budget will be invested into the Medical Research Future Fund, until the value of the new fund reaches $20 billion.”
One of the primary income streams for this fund is expected to be the new patient contributions to health care. You can find out more about the new patient contributions here.
Another expected income stream is the increased PBS co-payments. You can find out how much more you will be expected to pay for your PBS prescriptions here.
The net earnings of the fund each year will then be available the following year to fund medical research, commencing in the financial year of 2015-16.
The fund is expected to reach $20 billion by 2020. Payments will start at $20 million in its first year, 2015-16, and are expected to increase to approximately $1 billion from 2022-23 onwards.