The government announced yesterday (July 10) that it would put an extra $13.5 million toward primary health care research.
Tanya Plibersek, minister for health, said that the grant would help fund Australia's first international primary health care research organisation.
"Primary health care is critical to Australia's health system because it helps to keep people well and out of hospital," explained Ms Plibersek.
"The better we are at primary health care, the better for patients and for our system, so this research will be incredibly valuable."
This research organisation is the result of a $2.5 million partnership with Canada.
It will focus on the areas of primary health care that are a priority in both countries, such as chronic disease management and prevention, better access to medical treatment for people in low socio-economic communities, and rural health.
You can make health care a priority in your home by organising private health insurance.
HICA could help you find the health insurance plan that suits your needs with a private health insurance comparison.
Ms Plibersek said the similarities between Australia and Canada in terms of the "health challenges" being faced make this joining of forces a "natural" one.
The research organisation should host around 20 researchers and clinicians from both country's universities and other educational institutes.
This is not the only step the government is taking to improve primary health care in Australia.
Approximately $11 million is being invested in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Better Health Partnership in Primary Care.
The partnership has been designed to fund primary care research projects. These must undergo a competitive application process before they are selected to receive grants.
In addition to primary health care, service models and eHealth have also been nominated as areas in which more research needs to be conducted.
A third NHMRC Partnership Centre will be established to conduct such research.
These Partnership Centres are research institutes organised around a particular health "theme".
The first was opened on April 9 and designed to deal with cognitive and related functional decline in older people. The second investigates systems perspectives on preventing lifestyle-related chronic health problems.
All of this research will help Medicare Locals around the country better serve their communities, revealed Ms Plibersek.
She said that, in particular, good primary health care can help limit patients' reliance on medication and has been shown to reduce hospital admissions by nearly 25 per cent.