Enrolment in a primary health organisation

When you enrol with a general practice, you normally join a primary health organisation (PHO) because most general practices belong to a PHO. The benefits of belonging to a PHO can include cheaper doctors’ visits and reduced costs of prescription medicines. Enrolment in a PHO is voluntary.

How to enrol

To enrol, you will have to complete and sign a form which the doctor, nurse or medical centre receptionist will give you. The form will require you to provide some personal details such as name, age, date of birth, address and ethnicity. The information collected at enrolment is subject to the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994, so the privacy of your information is protected.


5 steps for a practice to enrol a new patient

1. Confirm identity

Use a photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport, or use mail or bills to confirm name and address.

2. Assess eligibility to receive publicly funded health services

New Zealand citizens are eligible, which includes everyone born in New Zealand before 2006. A passport or birth certificate can be used to confirm this. For other people check the eligibility criteria.

3. Assess entitlement to enrol

Contracted providers are required to assess the entitlement of the person to enrol by having the person confirm they:

  • intend to use the contracted provider as their regular and ongoing provider
  • intend to reside permanently in New Zealand (resident in NZ for more than 183 days in the next 12 months)
  • are not receiving long-term continuous and exclusive care through another funding agreement, eg, Department of Corrections (prison), Defence Force.

4. Complete the enrolment process

Ensure the enrolling person completes an enrolment form which includes:

  • the enrolment data
  • an eligibility declaration
  • an entitlement declaration
  • an acknowledgment of Use of Health Information Statement
  • an agreement with the enrolment process
  • signature of enrolling person (or authorised person) and date of signing.

The Use of Health Information Statement explains your rights to your health records, why we collect health information and how it’s used for your health care, statistics and planning. Go to National Enrolment Service to download a copy.

5. Record the enrolment data

General practices record enrolment information in their patient management system which will transfer the information to the national enrolment system database.


Enrolment demographics

Information is available on the number of people who are enrolled in a PHO and the demographic details of enrollees by PHO, Lead DHB and DHB of Domicile. Download the latest pivot table of PHO Enrolment Demographics (Excel, 2.58 MB) as at July 2017.


Access to primary care

The table below shows the estimated percentage of the total population (based on StatsNZ population projections) who are enrolled in a PHO by ethnicity as at July 2017.

  Māori Pacific Other Total
Number 678,218 325,295 3,476,669 4,480,182
Percentage 90% 100% 93% 94%

Detailed information on the percentage of the total population who are enrolled in a PHO for each of the 20 district health boards can be found in the spreadsheets below. The information is presented by ethnicity, deprivation, gender and age group for each quarter since October 2015.


Enrolment rules and guidelines

The document Enrolment Requirements for PHOs outlines the enrolment parameters for PHOs, including operational policies and requirements.

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