Health research funding will be boosted by $97 million over the next four years.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman made the pre-Budget announcement at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research at Victoria University today.

"The annual amount available for health research through the Health Research Council [HRC] will increase by 56 per cent over four years, from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20," Mr Joyce said.

"The HRC supports research that leads to improved health outcomes and more effective delivery of healthcare for New Zealanders, and research that brings economic gains for New Zealand."

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The new funding will also provide extra support for New Zealand's long-running longitudinal health studies.

One longitudinal study, Growing Up in New Zealand, has tracked the development of about 7000 New Zealand children from before birth until they are young adults.

Such studies can inform health policy. In September, results from Growing Up in New Zealand shed light on why some parents forwent or delayed immunising their children.

The Government has also today released a discussion document about the development of a new health research strategy, which will focus on better connecting research in life sciences, social sciences and engineering.

[NZME-NZG-DRI]

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