In light of the development of primary health care research over the past 10 years, and the current agenda for reform, this work by APHCRI and the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHC RIS) provides a stocktake of the current state of primary health care research in Australia. It identifies the current strengths and weaknesses of Australian primary health care research in light of current health priorities and ways in which current research gaps might be addressed.
Since the commencement of the Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development (PHCRED) strategy in 2000, research targeted on Primary Health Care services, and on the health care system as it relates to Primary Health Care has been a focus for many academic and clinical primary health care researchers. Over that period, 46 research grants have been awarded through the competitive grant system led by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) and 166 projects through the National Health and Medical Research Council. In addition, the Research Capacity Building Initiative has focused on developing capacity within the primary health care researcher community through education, awareness raising, mentoring, and research. Of particular note has been the development of the Practice Based Research Networks, which have provided opportunities for clinicians to become active in research and for collaborations between academic and clinical practitioners.