Primary health care is the first contact you have with health professionals - for example, when you visit your family doctor (general practitioner). You do not need any referral to use primary health care.
What is a Primary Health Organisation PHO?
Primary Health Organisations are collectives of health services who work together to improve the health of people in a community. Every person in Te Tai Tokerau should be enrolled through their GP with a PHO. Health providers who belong to PHOs include GPs, Maori providers and community organisations. Through the information that the PHO gathers they can get a clear picture of the health problems in their area and put in place programmes to improve and promote health. Reaching the highest need people enrolled is a PHO priority.
PHOs get a set amount of funding from the government to subsidise a range of health services. The funding is based on the numbers and characteristics (eg, age, sex, ethnicity) of people enrolled with them.
The funding pays for:
- Provding care and treatment when people are ill
- Keeping groups of people healthy by putting in place health promotion programmes dealing with issues such as healthy eating and healthy action
- Working with those groups in their communities who have poor health, such as those with diabetes or heart disease
- Making extra efforts to reach people who are missing out on primary health care.
How do I join a PHO?
To get the full benefits of being under a PHO, including subsidised fees, you must enrol. Ask your regular family doctor's practice for more details. You may also ring 0800 HLTH4U (0800 252 464) to check if you are enrolled.
Each PHO’s website contains more information on member practices including location, fees and doctors. Whangaroa and Hokianga have zero fees for all their enrolled populations.
More information on PHOs is available through the Ministry of Health’s website www.health.govt.nz