The Department of Health Services Research & Policy (HSR&P) aims to improve the provision, management, planning and financing of health services and to provide evidence to assist health management decision-making. HSR&P is a multidisciplinary scientific field that builds on methodology from healthcare and medicine, sociology, psychology, economics, management and political sciences. Applied HSR&P can inform the effective implementation of health services and evaluation of their efficacy, cost-effectiveness and equity in delivery.
In 2015, the Research School of Population Health (RSPH) established the Department which builds on strengths across the school in primary care research, comparative effectiveness, health economics, e-health, mental health and healthy ageing research, health systems and policy research, and epidemiology.
The Department will lead and contribute to the research, education and outreach agendas of the School both nationally and internationally and will have a pivotal role in strengthening and building relationships between the RSPH, federal, territory, state and regional policy makers, and other health stakeholders.
From 2016, the Department (HSR&P) became home to the former Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI). APHCRI operated from 2003 to 2015 as the Department of Health instrument to deliver an evidence base for informing decision-making to strengthen and improve Australian primary health care (PHC) systems and services.
Investing over $45M in commissioned PHC research funding, APHCRI provided national leadership in improving the quality and effectiveness of primary health care.
The QUALICOPC study is an international survey of quality and costs of primary care in 34 countries conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), which includes 28 EU countries, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The Australian arm of the QUALICOPC study began as a cooperative venture between the Australian National University and the University of Western Sydney (UWS). The University of NSW have recently joined the project and house the data.
GPs and patients of those GPs were surveyed in 2012/13 to explore how GP and patient experiences are related to the primary health care systems of the different countries. The data permit studies of the primary health care systems within countries, and ANU/UNSW will be exploring the relationship between the patient experience and the GP views. We are currently collaborating with colleagues from Switzerland, and have presented findings on early comparative work with Canadian and New Zealand colleagues.