10 Mar 2003 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 9:01 AM

Australia's main medical research group says it plans to increase its funding of Indigenous health projects to about 18-million dollars a year, up from about six-million a year.

The National Health and Medical Research Council's chief executive, Allan Pettigrew, says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are the most disadvantaged group in Australia.

Professor Pettigrew says although the Council has already done significant work in improving indigenous health, extra money money is needed to improve it further.

He says any Indigenous health project could be considered for funding if it meets the Council's criteria.

"The major criteria that we apply across the board are that the research must be done on a community basis, that is, indigenous people must be involved in the design and the carrying out and the feedback, on the research project. That the project must be able to demonstrate that it will produce sustainable outcomes, that is, outcomes that will last beyond just the life of the project. And also that the project is able to be transferred from one area to another."

The Council's representative from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, John Delaney, says the Indigenous community is consulted closely before any funding decision is made.

"We need to explore the territory first and have the Aboriginal community included. So given a period of time the communtities themselves can determine just what is necessary and how that is implemented."