Public reassured by GPs in PHOs
The Independent Practitioner Association Council of New Zealand (IPAC) says the public can be reassured by the Government’s apparent intent to enable general practice organisations (IPAs) to be PHOs (Primary Health Organisations).
IPAC’s Chief Executive Victor Klap said the guidelines for PHOs that would be entitled to funding from District Health Boards, were “enabling and permissive”.
“The public will be reassured by guidelines released yesterday, which indicate that the Government intends general practice to be an essential part of the new PHO system.
“Because 90% of the population see a GP each year, GPs are essential to the new system.
“The public has a right to expect that any new way of delivering and funding first line primary health would include GPs and practice nurses. We’re pleased that the Government recognises the significant contribution that IPAs have made to the New Zealand health sector in recent years, and the exciting opportunity they offer for the future,” Mr Klap said.
He said the guidelines were only the first step, so IPAC was reserving its position until it saw the detail on implementation and funding.
“There is still risk that the next steps will create an environment that diverts funding away from the health care delivered via GPs and fails to address some of the financial barriers to accessing general practice,” Mr Klap warned.
IPAC is a national body representing 16 Independent Practitioner Associations (IPAs) which cover 772 community-based practices, attended by some 1,850 GPs and over 2,000 practice nurses. Each year it is estimated two and a half million New Zealanders seek health services and advice from these IPAC member practices.