Access to primary health care for vulnerable populations


My name is Grant Russell. I’m from Monash
University and I’m the Chief investigator in Australia for the IMPACT Centre of Research
Excellence. So we’re trying to work to identify innovative local solutions to problems that
vulnerable communities have with accessing primary health care. What we’ve done is we’ve
formed the six separate communities. Three in Australia, three in Canada, and in each
of those areas we’re trying to work together to address these so called Wicked access problems.
Then in parallel, we’re conducting research with our international team to try and inform
what’s going on on the ground. So we think this is really a new way of bringing research,
to practice, to impact. We’re early in the piece. It’s only 18 months in to a five year
project, but we’re already beginning to be struck by the enthusiasm and some of the lack
of evidence that’s out there to inform policy. We’ve found some interesting things. We’ve
found some of the challenges, but some of the real opportunities in enthusiasms with
building local research partnerships. We’ve found some of the paucity of evidence around
access for vulnerable populations to primary health care and we’ve also found, compared
to that, how much work’s been done all over the world. We’ve identified 215 separate access
innovations that are trying to address the problems that we’re seeking to address in
our local communities. The impact is evolving. I think our early impacts have been that we’ve
helped individuals that are both researchers and community members, clinicians and policy
makers, identify that they can work together to address some of the really challenging
problems with which their communities are faced and we’ve learnt through that that there’s
some quite specific core needs that the primary care community can address to work together,
and the problems in Canada are not that different than the problems in Australia. So, we’re
trying to work together to get a collaborative answer to some of these challenges.

Daniel Yohans

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