Australian Medical Association (AMA) says that the federal budget has poorly handled the health issue. Critics have accused the government for not addressing problems like obesity and indigenous health. But $1 billion was allocated to Australian scientists to develop world-first medical technologies to fight cancer and heart disease. They have also planned to increase the funding for the National Health and Medical Research Council by $500 million by 2011.
Local scientists are encouraged to stay in Australia itself with a new $170 million fellowship scheme. AMA president Mukesh Haikerwal said that care was not shown towards tackling the problems of infrastructure of the health system. They turned a blind eye towards the needs of the ageing population and the next generation. But the treasurer Peter Costello argued that the budget looks in to all the aspects of health. He said that Australian scientists have made many breakthroughs such as the bionic ear, treatment of stomach ulcers and melanoma treatment. Awareness has been created and detailed study is in progress to warn the young Australians against the dangers of ecstasy, association between mental illness and cannabis usage. But the AMA and the Rural Doctors' Association were not happy with these measures as they feel that it is a total eye wash.