The recently announced Australian budget includes a number of budget cuts and changes to the country's social welfare system, but it draws on some of those changes to set up a new medical research fund, the Guardian reports.
As part of this budget, Australians will have an AUS$7 co-pay when they visit the doctor that is to support a new Medical Research Future Fund. That money, the Guardian says, will be invested and once it reaches $20 billion, the profits will fund medical research, including the National Health and Medical Research Council.
"As a result, it may be an Australian who discovers better treatments and even cures for dementia, Alzheimer's, heart disease, or cancer," Treasurer Joe Hockey told the Australian parliament, according to news.com.au.
Additionally, the budget presented by Hockey includes a continuation of the Future Fellowships program that supports mid-career researchers seeking to build their careers.
However, the Guardian notes that a number of science agencies also face budget cuts under this plan. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation faces a $111 million cut while the Australian Research Council is looking at a $75 million cut.