NZ Herald report this morning on the biggest shake up for primary health care services. If this jargon means nothing, these are your primary health organisations or PHOs. Your local GP, local health centres, medical surgeries, local after hours emergency services and so on.
It is the first time that this plan has received a public airing but it has obviously been in the Health Minister’s pipeline for some months. Before Christmas, we heard drastic cuts on the way for PHOs, which number over 80, with others since absorbed by government and the environment. Government plans were to reduce that down to 20-something PHOs.
Primary health services are about to undergo their biggest shake-up in nearly a decade, shifting some hospital services into the community and creating new super-clinics.
The kinds of services the integrated family health centres might offer are expected to include minor skin surgery, referral to diagnostic imaging and consultations with hospital specialists.
The shake-up is also likely to help meet Health Minister Tony Ryall’s aim to halve the number of primary health organisations (PHOs), the contracting groups that now sit between district health boards and health providers such as GPs and nursing practices. Read more of this NZ Herald story.