More than 370 delegates from across Australia and New Zealand have converged on Canberra for the 2012 Primary Health Care Research Conference, being held from July 18-20.
The three-day conference – hosted by Flinders University’s Primary Health Care Research and Information Service – features more than 200 seminars and presentations, as well six symposia and six workshops, presented by leaders in primary health care research, policy and practice.
During the event, keynote speakers from the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand will also explore the challenges facing the primary health care sector, drawing on the conference theme Inform, Influence Implement: research improving policy and practice.
As part of the official opening, Federal MP Dr Andrew Leigh will launch Snapshot of Australian primary health care research 2012, a publication highlighting a selection of recent outstanding Australian primary health care research.
Conference convener Dr Christina Hagger (pictured), a Research Fellow from the Flinders-based Primary Health Care Research and Information Service, said the annual event provided a forum to discuss research outcomes and maximise knowledge exchange across 18 key areas, including chronic health, Indigenous health, mental health and ageing.
“Primary health care is the most important health issue we face in Australia because it is essential to ensure we have a sustainable health system,” Dr Hagger said.
“By bringing together leaders in the field of research, policy and practice we have the unique opportunity to work towards a sustainable health care future through the advances of primary health care in Australia.”
Dr Hagger said a particular highlight of this year’s conference was the closing plenary, in which experts would canvass their visions for the year 2020.
“This will give researchers and policy-makers an eight-year focus which is short enough to achieve tangible goals yet long enough to give us some lead time,” she said.
“Overall we’re very pleased that this year’s conference has seen an increased number of policy-makers attending as it will further enhance the necessary integration between research and policy, leading to better health outcomes.”
The 2012 Primary Health Care Research Conference is being held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra until July 20.