Efforts to reduce the number of Australians dying from heart disease will be significantly boosted by a $150 million investment over the next decade.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the landmark funding in the NSW Budget 2018 would start with a $60 million rollout to researchers over the next four years.
“Heart disease remains Australia’s number one killer but with greater investment, researchers can predict, prevent and treat it more accurately,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“If we want to keep people healthy, and reduce pressure on our clinical services, we have to curb the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease.”
Mr Perrottet said: “Cardiovascular disease affects one in six Australians, and living with a heart condition can be frightening. It is critical we make this investment in long-term research funding for the wellbeing of NSW.”
Heart disease kills one person every 12 minutes.
Mr Hazzard said the 10-year funding certainty makes NSW an immensely attractive option to cardiovascular disease researchers and clinicians from around the world.
“We need skilled partners to beat heart disease and this investment guarantee will make us the first choice for researchers, the pharmaceutical sector and biotechnology industry,” said Mr Hazzard.
“The funding pipeline also allows us to support more clinical trials and leverage the existing research already underway across institutes, hospitals and universities.”
“We are committed to partnering with industry to grow health and medical research jobs, and bring new discoveries to market as quickly as possible to benefit individuals and their families, as well as the broader NSW economy,” said Mr Hazzard.
The record investment builds on the work of the Cardiovascular Research Network, a collaborative of 15 member organisations and more than 50 affiliated research institutions supporting cardiovascular research and the NSW research workforce.
The Heart Foundation’s NSW CEO Kerry Doyle said: “The NSW Government has shown vision and foresight in making this commitment, guaranteeing the next generation of research excellence and first-class care for the community.”
The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s Executive Director Professor Robert Graham said: “With this initiative, we will be able to rapidly convert ground breaking discoveries into better treatments for patients with heart disease.”