Implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy is a key first step towards achieving the goals set out in the New Zealand Health Strategy. The Primary Health Care Strategy aims to improve health and reduce health inequalities by moving to a system where services are co-ordinated around the needs of a defined group of people. Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) will be organisations of providers working with their communities to achieve this.
The process for fully implementing the Strategy is to be an evolutionary one over the next few years building on the strengths of the existing services provided by general practitioners, nurses, community health workers and others.
Many of these practitioners operate under existing organisational arrangements such as IPAs, Maori Provider Organisations, rural trusts and so on. Implementing the Strategy means that DHBs will work with these organisations and their communities in order to find the best way locally to set up Primary Health Organisations.