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Ministry of Health releases the first PHO Yearbook

20 December 2005

Ministry of Health releases the first PHO Yearbook

A yearbook detailing the early progress and development of New Zealand's Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) has been published today by the Ministry of Health.

This first PHO Yearbook for 2004 uses information from PHO annual reports to show how PHO health services are developing, their enrolment numbers, community coverage and funding. The Yearbook has been jointly put together by the Ministry and District Health Boards (DHBs).

The Deputy Director General of clinical services, Dr Colin Feek, says the Yearbook looks at 42 PHOs' in their first full operating year, ending 30 June 2004.

"A new direction for this country's primary health care was introduced four years ago with the Primary Health Care Strategy which put a greater emphasis on population based health, the community and the involvement of a range of health professionals.

"Since then doctors, nurses and other health professionals have worked hard to ensure PHOs develop innovative and creative ways to address the health needs of their local communities," Dr Feek says. "Today across the country, there are 81 PHOs, covering the primary healthcare needs for 3.8 million people."

The Yearbook takes a look at PHOs on both a national and an individual level. It hasn't attempted to analyse or evaluate the services provided, or the way funding has been used. It is envisaged that future yearbooks will have more access to this type of information along with details about the services that have been provided by PHOs and utilised by the community, Dr Feek says.

There has been growth in the number of PHOs since the 2003/04 financial year, and so data about the current PHOs has been included in the Yearbook as an addendum to give an up to date picture.

This and future editions of the PHO Yearbook will provide an ongoing opportunity to share information and learning across the primary health care sector.

Copies of the PHO Yearbook 2004 can be downloaded from the Ministry's website at:

Further information about Primary Health Organisations and the Primary Health Care Strategy is available at:


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