About primary health organisations
Primary health organisations (PHOs) are funded by district health boards to support the provision of essential primary health care services through general practices to those people who are enrolled with the PHO.
PHOs are one vehicle through which the Government’s primary health care objectives articulated through Better, Sooner, More Convenient Primary Health Care are implemented in local communities. As at December 2011, there are 31 PHOs that vary widely in size and structure although all are not-for-profit organisations. This figure does not include South Canterbury DHB's Primary and Community Services unit. As of May 2010, South Canterbury DHB took over the functions of the region's PHO through its Primary and Community Services unit.
A PHO provides services either directly or through its provider members. These services should improve and maintain the health of the entire enrolled PHO population, as well as providing services in the community to restore people’s health when they are unwell. The aim is to ensure GP services are better linked with other primary health services (such as allied health services) to ensure a seamless continuum of care, in particular to better manage long term conditions.
PHO contact details (xls, 56 KB) – as at September 2013.
District Health Boards contract with PHOs
The DHB shared services agency website contains PHO contractual information, including the PHO Service Agreement and associated documents.
In this section
- Reports on primary health organisation (PHO) performance against the three primary care health targets. Read more
- Enrolment in a PHO is voluntary, but people are encouraged to join a PHO in order to gain the benefits associated with belonging to a PHO, which include cheaper doctors visits and reduced costs on prescription medicines. Read more
- The majority of primary health care services have traditionally been provided by GPs and practice nurses. Read more