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Primary Care Providers Aim To Give Leadership

Monday, August 06, 2001

Primary Care providers aim to give policy leadership

A diverse range of primary health care providers opposed to one another on certain issues the first of series of meetings aimed “devising proactive solutions that are primary healthcare-led”. Representatives from the various organisations (a list of attendees is attached) agreed to the formation of the NZ Primary Healthcare Forum, which will be provide an opportunity for the groups to air issues with one another regularly.

The meeting was chaired by Royal NZ College of GPs CEO Claire Austin, though the Forum itself has no permanent chair. “It such a diverse range of groups has come together to be proactive about policy development,” Ms Austin explained. “We already have three working groups, who will look at workforce issues, funding of primary healthcare, and the structure of the Forum itself.

“Whilst the initial meetings was just of providers, the Forum recognised the critical importance of engaging consumers in the Forum to ensure they have equal input into policy development also,” she said.

“We gained a greater knowledge of each other,” Ms Austin says of the first Forum meeting, “and while there was diversity of views there, there a commitment to finding ways of working together. We were all agreed that there rather coming down to it from above.”

The group “identified areas of shared commitment” at its inaugural meeting, including a recognition that primary care is very fragmented, and that provider organisations needed to demonstrate leadership and drive reform.

The Minister of Health and the DHBs are to be officially informed of the creation of the Forum and invited to work with it to strengthen the key role of primary healthcare in providing for the well-being of all New Zealanders.

Contact: Claire Austin (04) 496-5990 or (021) 606-154 or: Rex Widerstrom (04) 496-5962 or (025) 549-637

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