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

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

BMA GP chair: 'GPs let down by tone deaf NHS demands on face-to-face appointments'

BMA GP chair: 'GPs let down by tone deaf NHS demands on face-to-face appointments'

NHS England has let down general practice with its 'tone deaf' demand for all patients...

GPs told to offer face-to-face appointments for all patients

GPs told to offer face-to-face appointments for all patients

GPs have condemned a 'blanket' demand from NHS England that all patients should be...

GP federation network seeks to boost primary care representation amid NHS reforms

GP federation network seeks to boost primary care representation amid NHS reforms

The NHS Confederation has set up a national network for GP federations in a bid to...

Sharp rise in GPs seeking mental health support during past year

Sharp rise in GPs seeking mental health support during past year

The number of GPs seeking help from NHS Practitioner Health, the specialist service...

Podcast: The GP workload crisis, mental wellbeing and vaccination success

Podcast: The GP workload crisis, mental wellbeing and vaccination success

In this episode of our new podcast Talking General Practice we look at the GP workload...

Long wait for COVID-19 public inquiry 'could drive doctors to quit NHS'

Long wait for COVID-19 public inquiry 'could drive doctors to quit NHS'

Doctors' leaders have criticised government plans to delay a public inquiry into...