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Primary Health Organisation contract gets the nod

New Transitional Primary Health Organisation contract gets the nod

District Health Boards and health providers have reached agreement on a new transitional contract for Primary Health Organisations (PHOs).

DHB negotiating team leader Martin Hefford, the spokesperson for the negotiating team Dr Paul McCormack and Health Care Aotearoa national co-ordinator Peter Glensor today welcomed the resolution to a negotiations process that started about six months ago.

The agreement means the groups involved in contract talks with district health boards -- IPAC, First Health and CareNet (IFC), and Health Care Aotearoa -- will now recommend that all PHOs sign the new document, known as version 16.1.

``There are still a number of areas that need further discussion, but we've made significant progress on some of the outstanding issues,'' Mr Hefford said.

``Many of the sticking points in version 16 have been resolved and are included in the new version 16.1. This includes new clauses around Maori participation and an incentives system for PHOs to maintain good levels -- 70 percent -- of NHI recording for casual patients.

``We've also agreed on the process needed to talk about issues such as systems changes and business rules, which need to be further developed over the next six months or so. That process will involve all PHOs, DHBs and the Ministry of Health, and we'll be having our first meeting on August 26.''

Dr McCormack said that the negotiating team’s objective had been to achieve a sustainable contract that would ensure that the general practice sector could be in a position to support the delivery of the Primary Health Care Strategy – now and in the future.

Letters have been sent to all PHOs and prospective PHOs inviting them to nominate people for the first meeting of the PHO Service Agreement Reference Group on August 26.

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