eHealth a priority for NHMRC primary care research

The federal government will provide the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) with an extra $13.5 million for research into the primary care sector, with service models and eHealth two of the priority areas.

As part of the NHMRC's Better Health Partnership in Primary Care program, the council will fund primary care research projects following a competitive grants application process. The NHMRC will work with Medicare Locals on the projects under its partnership centres model.

Minister for Health and Medical Research Tanya Plibersek said the results of the research will help Medicare Locals to deliver services to their communities as part of shifting the gravity in the health system towards primary care.

“Primary health care is critical to Australia’s health system because it helps to keep people well and out of hospital,” Ms Plibersek said. “The better we are at primary health care, the better for patients and for our system, so this research will be incredibly valuable.”

A portion of the funding will be allocated to Australia’s first international primary healthcare research organisation, which will partner with Canada to study how to improve health outcomes for vulnerable groups.

“Research will focus on priority health areas for both countries including chronic disease prevention and management, rural health, and better care for people in low socio-economic communities,” Ms Plibersek said.

“We expect the organisation to bring together over 20 researchers, clinicians, and decision makers from both countries, and from a range of universities and research institutes.

“This is a natural partnership given the similarities between our two countries economically, demographically, and in terms of health challenges like chronic disease and ageing populations.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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