MEDIA STATEMENT - Closure of BEACH program after 18 years
From the Family Medicine Research Centre
University of Sydney
11 April 2016
The current contract with Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) for a partial contribution to the costs of the BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health) program finishes on 30th June 2016.
We have been informed that there will be no further funding from DoH for the BEACH program.
BEACH has always struggled to gain sufficient funds each year. However, this notification comes when we also have a large shortfall in funding coming from other organisations such as NGOs and pharmaceutical companies, due to closure of many Government instrumentalities and authorities, and the heavy squeeze on pharmaceutical companies’ profits, resulting from changes to the PBS.
We therefore have no choice but to close the BEACH program. This will leave Australia with no valid, reliableand independent source of data about activities in general practice.
We also have no funds available to produce the annual BEACH report and the ‘decade of Australian general practice activity’ report for this year. Officially, the program will close on the 30th of June, after contracted deliverables to the DoH and other funding organisations are complete. We are committed to supporting the GPs who are currently participating in the study, and will ensure that they are able to complete the study and receive their quality improvement points. However, we cannot support any more GPs to start the study given the short timeframe involved.
The BEACH team wishes to thank all the organisations who have supported BEACH over the last 18 years, in any capacity.
Most importantly we thank the 11,000+ GPs throughout Australia who have participated one or more times in the program, making a big contribution and generously giving their time to do so.
BEACH has been the only continuous national study of general practice in the world which relies on random samples of GPs, links management actions to the exact problem being managed, and provides extensive measurement of prevalence of diseases, multimorbidity and adverse medication events (to name just a few subjects of the many SAND sub-studies conducted in the BEACH program).
Without the GPs, we would not have had the data to report.
Without BEACH there will be very little reliable, independent national information about GP clinical activity in the future.
Professor Helena Britt
Tel: +612 9845 8150
Mob +61 411 197 938
Director, Family Medicine Research Centre, University of Sydney