Enrolment in a primary health organisation

Enrolment in a primary health organisation (PHO) is voluntary. Most New Zealanders are however enrolled through their general practice and gain the benefits associated with belonging to a PHO, which can include cheaper doctors’ visits and reduced costs of prescription medicines.

Enrolment information for the public

Most general practices are now part of a PHO. If you are not sure whether your general practice is part of a PHO, you can ask your regular doctor or practice nurse.

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.


Enrolment demographics

Information is available on the number of people who are enrolled in a PHO and the demographic details of enrolees by PHO, Lead DHB and DHB of Domicile.

Download the latest pivot table of PHO Enrolment Demographics (xlsx, 3.2 MB) as at April 2021.

Previous PHO Enrolment Demographic tables

Since October 2020, tables are published monthly instead of quarterly.


Access to primary care

The table below shows the estimated percentage of the total population who are enrolled in a PHO by ethnicity as at October 2020. 

  Māori Pacific Other Total
Number 730,612 346,200 3,719,344 4,796,156
Percentage 85% 100% 95% 94%

The estimated coverage for the Pacific population is sometimes slightly more than 100% as the underlying population comes from Stats NZ population projections and the enrolment number comes from the primary care data collection. Detailed information on the number and 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.

Note that updated population projections were used in the calculation of the January 2021 statistics. The updated projections use the latest subnational population estimates and updated methodology to calculate migration. The combined impact is a variation in projected population for some DHBs when compared to earlier releases.


Enrolment rules and guidelines

The document Enrolment Requirements for Contracted Providers and PHOs (on the TAS website) outlines the enrolment parameters for PHOs, including operational policies and requirements.

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