Better primary care and chronic pain treatment through $20 million in research

Department of Health

The Albanese Government is funding research to better equip Australia’s primary health care system to support patients, especially those with chronic and ongoing health conditions.

Nine projects will share in $19.6 million in funding delivered through the Medical Research Future Fund’s Primary Health Care Research Initiative. The benefits of multidisciplinary care, telehealth and preventive health are a focus of the research, with many projects specifically targeted to offer better health care and support to people in rural, regional and remote communities.

Four projects will share in $8.8 million in funding to ease the burden for Australians with chronic pain. Researchers from the University of South Australia will work with two rural communities to build the skills of local health professionals and offer a lifestyle program to patients living with chronic pain.

Another project will target support at rural Australians with back pain, which causes huge suffering and often coincides with lifestyle risks for chronic disease. Many people don’t get care to manage both, especially in rural regions.

University of Sydney researchers will adapt a lifestyle program that can be used by rural primary care practices to reduce disability and ongoing disease.

At least one in five Australians aged 45 and over lives with chronic and ongoing pain, which can take an enormous physical and emotional toll on them, their families and loved ones.

The research funding is just one way the Government is strengthening Medicare to better fit the needs of 21st century Australia, including a greater incidence of chronic disease.

Recent changes to bulk billing incentives, investments to support multidisciplinary care, Medicare Urgent Care Clinics and workforce investments are making it easier for every Australian to get the care they need, when and where they need it.

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