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Joint Approach Best Practice In Primary Health

12 April 2002

Joint Approach Best Practice In Primary Health Care

The Independent Practitioners Association Council (IPA Council) leaves today to lead an historic joint New Zealand delegation visiting the United States and Britain in an investigation of international best practice in primary health care.

Fourteen senior representatives, including members from IPAC, ACC, the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards and a Maori health provider, comprehensively cover the wide variety of providers in the primary health care sector.

"IPAC is very pleased to have this opportunity to lead key players in New Zealand primary health care to the USA and Britain for a two-week study tour. Our ability to learn from this experience is greatly enhanced by the cross-section of health sector representatives in the tour group," said IPA Council's chief executive, Victor Klap.

"The team approach is the smart way for New Zealand to learn from international best practice primary health models. In this way each representative can ask questions relevant to their needs and as a group we learn from each other.

"In England, the programme tour includes meetings with the National Health Service, Kingsfund and three different primary health care trusts. We look forward to investigating how they operate."

"The University of California and Harvard University will be hosting our delegation in the United States. Both universities have organised extensive programmes specially for our group including visits to primary care organisations," said Mr Klap.

The tour is the first that the IPA Council has initiated. They plan to produce a report of the main findings with a particular focus on the implications for the Primary Care Strategy.

Delegates involved on the trip have been sponsored by their own organisations.

IPAC is a national body representing 17 Independent Practitioner Associations (IPAs) which cover more than 800 community-based practices, attended by some 1,900 GPs and more than 2,000 practice nurses. Each year it is estimated 2.5 million New Zealanders seek health services and advice from these IPAC member practices.


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