8 Aug 2008

Health research crisis feared

7:29 pm on 8 August 2008

The University of Auckland medical school is warning of a crisis in the health sector because of a lack of research funding.

A joint report by the Universities of Auckland and Otago concludes that funding for health research in New Zealand is up to 12 times less than other OECD countries.

It says money provided by the Government for health research is currently equivalent $10.20 a person.

In comparison, funding in Australia is about $NZ34.6 a person, $NZ54.3 a person in Britain and $NZ126 a person in the United States.

Professor Ian Reid says New Zealand will continue to lose highly skilled health professionals overseas if funding is not increased immediately.

The Heart Foundation says New Zealanders should be embarrassed at the amount of funding the Government is putting into health research.

The foundation says the figure of $10.20 a person a year is not enough.

Its medical director says New Zealanders should put pressure on the Government to increase it.

But Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson says the Government has increased funding by 130% in the past nine years and will continue that push.