The Australian National University’s (ANU) contract with the Department of Health for APHCRI ceased on 31 December 2015. The Department of Health advised APHCRI that the contract would be extended until 31 March 2016 to enable an orderly transition to APHCRI’s host organisation, the Research School of Population Health (RSPH) at ANU and to ensure that remaining research contract commitments are met.
The nature of government primary health care research support in the future is not yet clear, however the Department has advised that a new Health Policy Research and Data Programme (a flexible fund) is anticipated to commence on 1 July 2016 and will include primary health care research.
Research Contracts and Reports
A number of commissioned research projects (including Centres of Research Excellence) will still be in progress throughout 2016, with one CRE research program ending in July 2018. Externally conducted research will be managed by the RSPH to ensure contract compliance and associated payments. Funds have been set aside to guarantee that all contractual payments will be made upon satisfactory receipt of contracted deliverables. Contact details of staff will be provided to research contract holders before the end of the year.
Research reports and past APHCRI activity will remain available, likely on the APHCRI website although this may be rerouted via the RSPH website. The Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS) has offered to assist with dissemination of research reports.
Arrangements are also being put in place with the RSPH to finalise APHCRI contractual requirements with the Department of Health.
Research Liaison Officer
Kerri Kellett, who has spent the last couple of years working with APHCRI in her role as the Department of Health’s Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Liaison Officer, will continue to work in this capacity from the Department. As the Primary Health Care Research Liaison Officer, Kerri will focus more broadly on primary health care research and will continue to work on building relationships, supporting knowledge exchange and organising regular presentations to the Department by visiting primary health care experts. You can contact Kerri on (02) 6289 3907, 0418 884 666 and firstname.lastname@example.org
APHCRI has built over the years a strong international network of individuals and organisations that has enabled us to facilitate a program of expert visitors to Australia as well as supporting early career researcher annual exchanges. The researcher exchanges will continue with the ANU Medical School continuing the Robert Graham Centre and the Radboud University Medical Centre exchange programs. Discussions are in progress with the Bureau of Health Information in NSW for the potential adoption of the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Studies exchange. These new arrangements will not come under the APHCRI banner but the relationships built with those international organisations will be maintained at least for the coming year.
Prof Claire Jackson at the University of Queensland has assumed responsibility for the International Implementation Research Network in Primary Care (IIRNPC). Prof Jackson will renew the Network at the 2016 conference in Brisbane.
The remaining APHCRI Network staff, Dr Chilandu Mukuka, Research Manager and Dr Dagmar Ceramidas, Program Manager, are assisting with the transition to RSPH.
As part of the transition remaining research staff will be managed according to the priorities and resources available to RSPH. It is timely that the new Health Services Research Stream at RSPH has been established under the leadership of Prof Art Sedrakyan from Cornell University. This stream will include a primary health care research theme and will benefit from the APHCRI@ANU research history and expertise.
Professor Deborah Turnbull Associate Professor Terry Findlay
Chair, APHCRI Research Advisory Board APHCRI Head of Programs
24 November 2015