Medical academics raise concern about research funding cut

Medical academics raise concern about research funding cut

In his pre-budget report today (Wednesday 6 December, 2006), the Chancellor confirmed the government will merge the research budgets for the NHS and the Medical Research Council, creating a single fund for the UK of “over £1 billion a year”. However, the combined value of medical research funding for 2007-8 was originally expected to be £1.3 billion.

While the BMA welcomes the drive to co-ordinate research funding, it is concerned by this apparent £300 million funding cut.

Professor Michael Rees, chairman of the BMA’s Medical Academic Staff Committee, says:

“We welcome the fact that the Chancellor has set out a clear vision for medical science, and in particular for applied research which benefits patients. This focus will encourage young doctors to engage in careers in medical research.

“We are also pleased that research and development budgets will be ringfenced. However, medical researchers need to be confident that baseline funding will not be eroded by the new combined fund. We have significant concerns about the possibility of the merger resulting in medical research being worse off by hundreds of millions of pounds.

“A cut of such magnitude would be very damaging. In recent years, patients have benefited hugely from new treatments that were made possible by clinical research. Future breakthroughs on cancer, heart disease, and child health depend heavily on the amount invested in research. We need to see more investment in these areas - certainly not less.”

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...