Joining university to clinical service, research to practice
The model of the academic health science centre (AHSC) arose decades ago in the United States,1 and is now internationally well established, with 17 centres in Canada, eight in Holland, five in the United Kingdom, two in Singapore, but none in Australia. An AHSC is where a leading university joins with a major tertiary health care provider in a tripartite mission of excellence in clinical service, research and education. AHSCs drive a care continuum from innovation, to bedside, to the community, endeavouring to ensure that the latest advances and highest standards reach patients. They are so well established abroad that the debate has moved on to extending AHSCs into systems or networks to embrace primary health care and global responsibilities.2
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