Liz Sturgiss is a lecturer at the Academic Unit of General Practice of the Australian National University
I faced attending PHCRIS this year with some trepidation. I'll admit that, as a (very) early career GP researcher, the recent months of de-funding announcements have filled me with disappointment. Have I chosen a career path worth pursuing? Is this a valuable way to spend the next 30 years of my working life?
I'm pleased to say I've been left with a feeling of great hope having been inspired by my primary healthcare research mentors and leaders.
Grant Russell, newly elected for a second term as President of the Australasia Association of Academic Primary Care (AAAPC) was upbeat in his introduction to the second day of the meeting. He reminded us how the Canadian academic, Martin Bass, had warned against learned helplessness and he pointed out that primary care has much more influence than we give ourselves credit for.
Claire Jackson, one of Australia’s leading primary care researchers was introduced at her plenary lecture as “an eternal optimist”. True to form, she told us that there has never been a more exciting time to be in primary care research. She listed the national primary health care strategy, the primary care framework, and the 31 primary health networks. While there have been numerous health care reforms, each one has primary care at its centre and there is growing government awareness of the need to address complex chronic illness in community. ...continue reading →
Domhnall MacAuleyis a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK. He is currently attending the 2016 Primary Health Care Research Conference in Canberra, Australia
“This is the time to be in general practice...This is the time to be in general practice research,” said Steve Hambleton, former chair of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group, a body created to look at options to reform care for people with complex and chronic illness. Steve gave the opening conference address. He spoke about the advisory group's work, their wide ranging membership including family doctors, other providers and consumers, and he outlined three areas that would be major challenges in the future: chronic care, obesity, and preventable disease. Steve also reminded us that those patients with the greatest number of diseases see the greatest number of doctors. The final report, delivered on ...continue reading →
High quality primary health care (PHC) research is a powerful community resource. Strengthened and contextualised with insights and expertise from policy makers, practitioners and consumers, it informs improvements in the frontline of the health system.
Question: How to increase that power? How can we better routinely inform, access and utilise quality research?
One Answer: Bring research users and researchers face-to-face for deliberative dialogue, debate and discussion. After all, we know that we can only really make a difference when people work with people to share real-world, as well as research, knowledge and skills.