Southern Academic Primary Care Research Unit (SAPCRU)

The aim of this unit is to further primary health care research and education in south eastern metropolitan Melbourne.

The Southern Academic Primary Care Research Unit (SAPCRU) was established in 2009 through a unique partnership between Dandenong Casey Division of General Practice (now the South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local—SEMML), Monash University and Southern Health (now Monash Health). SAPCRU has two broad research priorities which provide the framework for its research: primary care reform, and refugee and migrant health, with an overall focus on vulnerable populations.

SAPCRU’s mission is to conduct and facilitate high quality, regionally specific research which influences policy makers and health services to shape a primary care system that is continuously focused on improving the health and wellbeing of the south east metropolitan Melbourne community. SAPCRU conducts multidisciplinary research together with
collaborators and strategic partners from other departments and faculties at Monash University, other universities and independent research institutes, General Practice Networks, public health services, consumers and consumer groups, non-government organisations industry and government.

The Director of SAPCRU is Professor Grant Russell. Professor Russell leads a small, experienced team of researchers advantageously housed in the shared offices of SEMML and Monash Health’s Acute Ambulatory services team in Dandenong.

Research Themes

Primary Care Reform

Methods for delivering primary healthcare are changing. In the last decade, most western countries have embarked on a series of policies for
reforming the delivery of primary healthcare services. Most of these policies impact on and are dependent upon the function of the primary care practice.

Changing patient and health care needs have created a call for better, more efficient, easily accessed, and patient centred health care

We acknowledge the need for evidence around the individual, organisational and contextual factors that influence the delivery of quality primary care in this rapidly changing primary care environment.

Refugee Health

SAPCRU is advantageously positioned in Dandenong. Our region receives up to one third of all new arrival refugees in Victoria each year and
is a significant site of secondary resettlement within Australia, particularly for people from Afghanistan.

We continue to enjoy a productive relationship with our region’s Refugee Health Research Consortium which was formed in early 2010 as a response by local organisations with a common interest in refugee health research in the cities of Greater Dandenong and Casey, in south eastern metropolitan Melbourne.

Refugee health is an important theme of work at SAPCRU and we continue to lead a number of key research projects in this area.

Contact information


C/- South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local
314B Thomas St,
Dandenong, VIC 3175



(03) 9793 4050