Abbott urges Medical Research Future Fund support for ‘our country’s sake’

Mr Abbott told the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) annual dinner in Canberra that he regarded himself as the "prime minister for medical research".

"You can't have a Medical Research Future Fund without funding," Mr Abbott said, adding that while the co-payment was a "controversial" funding mechanism, it was "fair and reasonable for people to make a modest contribution".

"This is history making, this is culture shifting, this is life changing," he said.

"My request to all of you in this room tonight: please don't leave tomorrow without knocking on the door of a crossbench senator and saying, 'For our country's sake, for the world's sake – have a look at this fund'."

A spokesman for opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King said while Labor supports medical research, "you don't fund the treatments of the future by taxing the sick people of today".

"As we found out in Senate estimates early