Limited funding for health investigations

HEALTH STUDIES are poorly investigated and supported by public funds according to Luís Campos, co-ordinator of the Núcleo de Estudos de Doenças Auto-Imunes (NEDAI), the centre for studies of autoimmune systems, of the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine. The doctor hopes to launch a 75,000 euro investigation into the autoimmune system, the first of its kind supported by the NEDAI in collaboration with the Schering-Plough Laboratory.

Luís Campos, of the São Francisco Xavier hospital, admitted that “investigation into health is scarce”, especially clinical trials carried out by public entities. “If independent companies were given more money, more research could be undertaken by pharmaceutical labs,” Campos added. Talking about State funded investigation projects, the co-ordinator of NEDAI revealed that only 20 per cent of investment from the Science and Technological Fund is directed to health studies, social sciences and various branches of engineering receive the major part of the funds.

In 2001, more than 49 million euros went to the Science and Technological Fund, only 8.6 million euros went into investigation of health, just 16 per cent of the total.

These statements by the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine about investigations into autoimmune systems have resulted in doctors joining the cause. These authorities will present a candidature to the headquarters of the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine by March 31 to instigate the changes in the finance of health studies.