New research to examine at health services


The opportunity to address the disparity of primary health care services across Australia will be investigated as part of new research funded by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) at ANU.

The research will look at international models of primary health care, their historical, cultural and organisational context, and what the Australian system could learn from these models.

Dr John Furler, a member of the research team from the University of Melbourne, said while he did not want to pre-empt what the research might find, it would look at number of important issues facing health systems.

"People get a real mixed bag of services depending on who they go to, where they live and what they can afford, and this is especially a problem for people with chronic illness. Ideally we need a strong system that ensures care is accessible where and when it's needed. We want to look at international evidence to see what can be done to make that happen in a planned and sustainable way here in Australia. We'd like to see our research improve primary health care services across the country," he said.

The project is one of 12 projects around the nation funded by APHCRI in its second major funding round for 2005.

APHCRI was set up as part of a Federal Government strategy to improve the knowledge base in primary health care policy. This is the Institute's fourth funding round of research into primary health care.

Each of the 12 projects will be funded for 12 months with results expected in September next year. Funding in this round totalled $1,724,200.

APHCRI Director, Professor Nicholas Glasgow, said the Institute was taking an innovative approach to research.

"APHCRI will bring policy makers and researchers together in the early stages of the their work to refine research questions and improve the collaboration between the two diverse groups," he said.

"This aims to make research more relevant to policy formulation in primary health care."

The new stream of research would be able to react quickly to relevant policy questions, with an end result of improving health care outcomes for Australians, he said.

APHCRI Research Advisory Board Chairman, Professor John Marley, congratulated the successful applicants.

"It's great to see so many researchers from all over Australia come together in this body of work. I look forward to seeing the results of their research and the development of APHCRI's approach, bringing the research and policy communities together."

Other projects funded include:

  • A study of successful models of Aboriginal primary health care;
  • An investigation into primary care interventions for parents of overweight children; and
  • Research into whether care in other chronic disease areas, like diabetes, could be used as a model in mental health.

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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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