The Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development (PHCRED) Strategy has been funded by the Australian Government since 2000 to improve Australia’s capacity to produce high quality primary health care research. In building research capacity, the Strategy offers opportunities for research training, support and experience spanning the full researcher development continuum.
As described in the strategic plan the goals of this strategy are:
- an expanded pool of primary health care researchers;
- more research relevant to practice and policy; and
- in collaboration with other relevant organisations, well informed primary health care practice and policy.
- The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI): tasked with providing leadership in primary health care research;
- The Research Capacity Building Initiative (RCBI): funding University Departments of General Practice and Rural Health to provide training and support in primary health care research for early career researchers;
- A program of Training Awards, and investigator-driven and priority-driven clinical research grants: administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); and
- The Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS): providing support in the area of dissemination and knowledge-exchange.
Phase two: 2006-2009
In 2005 the Department of Health and Ageing developed a Strategic Plan for Phase two of the PHCRED Strategy following a process of stakeholder consultation. A Strategic Plan outlines the new vision and purpose for the Strategy as well as a set of clear goals and performance measures.
An independent evaluation of the PHCRED Strategy took place during 2008, with the final report provided to the Department of Health and Ageing in 2009.
Phase three: 2010-2014
Over the period 2010-2014 the PHCRED Strategy (Phase three) will build and communicate an evidence base to support decision making around primary health care, focused on the priority areas of the National Primary Health Care Strategy which are:
- Improving access and reducing inequity
- Better management of chronic conditions
- Increasing the focus on prevention and
- Improving quality, safety, performance and accountability.
Phase three of the Strategy consists of the following three components:
- The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) is tasked with providing leadership in Primary Health Care Research and establishing a new network of collaborative Centres of Research Excellence (CRE's)
- The Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS) is funded to undertake a broad range of knowledge translation, sharing and exchange activities.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has funding to support a small number of four year NHMRC Co-funded Career Development and Early Career Fellowships focussed on priorities identified in the National Primary Health Care Strategy.
An evaluation of phase three is currently underway. The key evaluation objectives are to determine:
- the effectiveness and efficiency of the Strategy and its individual components
- the appropriateness of the Strategy and its individual components in terms of taking into account the recommendations from the evaluation of phase two, and in meeting current and potential future needs
- opportunities for possible future improvements to the Strategy, and/or alternative options to the Strategy.
An evaluation at this point is important to inform and provide recommendations to the Department of Health and Ageing on the future of the PHCRED Strategy as a whole and its individual components. It will help ensure that Commonwealth funding is achieving its objectives, which include providing strong evidence that will assist governments to build a stronger Australian primary health care system. This evaluation is expected to be completed by mid-2014.
For further information please email PHC.Research@health.gov.au
The Australian Governement Department of Health, through the PHCRED Strategy, are supporting a number of post doctoral Career Development Fellowships (CDFs) for the 2012-2015 award period. These post doctoral fellowships are an outcome from the October 2010 PHCRED Phase 3 Australia wide consultations. The fellowships are administered by the NHMRC.
For more information about Phase three of the PHCRED Strategy please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
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