The latest OECD figures have highlighted that Australia spends comparatively little to fund scientific research and development.
In fact, as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product, the government only spends 0.4% GDP on research and development. This is considerably less than comparable OECD nations.
Nonetheless, agencies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have still benefited from increasingly larger wads of government funding.
Two in three Australians use natural therapies, including herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, Pilates – to name a few.
Despite this widespread use, the NHRMC dedicates a miniscule average budget of 0.03% to research natural therapies and complementary medicine.
How can one of the most well-funded research agencies in our country take such little interest in a mode of healthcare that affects over 16 million Australians?
In response to these concerns, a petition is now underway to support the creation of a new research agency, dedicated to exploring the evidence-backed health benefits of natural therapies.
The Natural Medicine Petition is seeking signatures from natural health practitioners and consumers alike, that will be presented to the House of Representatives.
“Public expenditure on natural medicine research does not reflect the widespread popularity or potential health benefits offered by natural treatments,” the petitioners state.
“Australia has the expertise to take the lead in developing an international research agenda into how we may better and more safely both prevent and manage chronic diseases utilizing natural and integrative medicines.”
To sign the Natural Medicine Petition, go online and download the petition details.