In a major boost for primary health research, the ANU Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute has announced $7.5 million in funding to establish three new Centres of Research Excellence in primary health care.
The new centres will focus on three priority areas: access and equity, prevention and management of chronic conditions, as well as quality, governance, performance and sustainability.
Robert Wells, Director of the Institute, said the new centres will conduct research across a range of issues, tackling some of the key health reform challenges facing Australia.
“These three new centres will add significantly to the depth of health care research in Australia. The Centre of Research Excellence in the Finance and Economics of Primary Care will focus on the finance and economics of primary health care, aiming to build an evidence base to support primary care reform. The centre will be evaluating current policies, and using that as an evidence base to inform the development and implementation of new initiatives,” he said.
“The Centre of Research Excellence in Primary Oral Health Care will research the growing concern of oral health care. Oral health is fundamental to overall health and quality of life. Despite this however, over 90 per cent of Australians born before 1970 have some experience of tooth decay, and one in five adults has moderate or severe gum disease. This centre will focus on improving this situation through addressing knowledge gaps and forging links between dental care and primary health care.
“Finally, the Centre for Obesity Management and Prevention Research Excellence in Primary Health Care will focus on another key health issue facing Australia – obesity. The team will provide evidence of the effectiveness of interventions and strategies in primary health care to assist people to improve their lifestyle and achieve and maintain weight goals.”
The Centre of Research Excellence in the Finance and Economics of Primary Care will be based at the University of Technology, Sydney, in collaboration with the University of Queensland and the University of New South Wales. The Centre of Research Excellence in Primary Oral Health Care will be based at the University of Adelaide in collaboration with the University of Tasmania. The Centre for Obesity Management and Prevention Research Excellence in Primary Health Care will be based at the University of New South Wales in collaboration with the University of Sydney, Deakin University, the University of Adelaide and the Inala Indigenous Health Service.
Funding for the program comes from the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Health and Ageing.
Contacts: For interviews: Robert Wells, ANU Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute Director – 02 6125 9988 or 0412 697 983. For media assistance: Sarina Talip, ANU Media – 02 6125 7988 or 0416 249 241.