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Should Australia develop primary care research networks?

Jane M Gunn
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (2): 63-66.

Summary

  • Primary care research networks have emerged in other countries over the past decade. Rigorous data to determine the level of their achievement are lacking.

  • Research networks are a part of the current Australian primary healthcare research capacity building program, yet we have no systematic approach to their introduction.

  • Australian networks should build upon international experience and should not duplicate the role of Divisions of General Practice.

  • Each network should have clearly defined aims, strategies and key indicators against which to evaluate performance.

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  • Jane M Gunn

  • Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: j.gunn@unimelb.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

This article was researched and early drafts written during my sabbatical in the UK. Thanks to my hosts Professor David Mant, Oxford University, and Professor David Weller, University of Edinburgh. Thanks also to Helen Smith, Lucy McCloughlan, Sally Wyke, Joe Kai, Hiliary Hearnshaw, Judy Shakespeare, Brian McKinstry, and Pit Rink for their helpful discussion during the writing of this article. Thanks to Lucy McCloughlan, Christine Campbell, Doris Young, Jane Sims, Philippa Thomson and Judy Taylor for commenting on drafts.

Competing interests:

Jane Gunn is coordinator of the Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Program in the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne.

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