Evaluation of Comprehensive Primary Health Care

Fran Baum, Gwyn Jolley, Angela Lawless, Catherine Hurley, Michael Bentley.

A proposal for a major project regarding the development of a framework for evaluating the performance of comprehensive primary health care within the South Australian health system was submitted to the NHMRC in March. The proposal links the work SACHRU is undertaking as part of an international research collaboration (funded by the Canadian Teasdale-Corti Global Health Research Partnership Program) with local primary health care evaluation effort. Following assessors' feedback, a less complex and more specific proposal will be re-submitted in the March 2008 funding round.

If successful this research will focus on the evaluation of the establishment and work of various models of comprehensive primary health care facilities in South Australia and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Alice Springs. The over-arching aims of the proposed study are to develop a valid and robust set of criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a model of health service delivery known as Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), and secondly, the specifically developed evaluation framework will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the CPHC centres.

This proposal is linked to the international study 'Revitalizing Comprehensive Primary Health Care'. Fran Baum and two international advisors are members of a consortium of researchers and practitioners involved in this Teesdale-Corti Global Health Research Partnership Program1 to consolidate at a global level existing knowledge, create new knowledge, develop new research capacity, and lay the ground for a global network of practitioner, civil society, policy and academic actors involved in CPHC thus adding significant value to country-based work. The funding was confirmed in December 2006 and the project commenced in 2007. Catherine Hurley, Julie Johns, Rama Ramaanthan and Angela Lawless have contributed to the systematic review of comprehensive PHC across Australasia and Asia and this will feed into the work from other global regions.

Linked to both the local and international projects above are plans for a week long intensive workforce development course on 'Evaluation of comprehensive primary health care'. The course will be held in Adelaide from 18th to 22nd February 2008.