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New Primary Health organisation coalition formed

New Primary Health organisation coalition formed

New Primary Health Organisation (PHO) coalition formed to improve health outcomes for Maori.

Concerns over the continuing health inequalities between Maori and the rest of New Zealand have led to the establishment of a national coalition of Maori led PHO’s. The Coalition was formalised at a hui at Kirikiriroa Marae in Hamilton recently following years of close collaboration.

The initial eight PHO’s represent a diverse range of Maori urban authorities, Maori Development Organisations and Iwi health interests with over 60,000 Maori enrolled within their general practice networks.

The coalition has come together in response to ongoing concerns about the continued poor health status of Maori. This situation continues despite longstanding national policy frameworks for improving Maori health.

“Government investments in health programmes need to align more closely with Maori morbidity and mortality profiles,” says Coalition Interim Chair Simon Royal.

“Maori access primary care clinics and programmes less than the greater population. They are diagnosed with chronic illness later and suffer from multiple conditions when they are diagnosed. As a consequence Maori die younger,” he said.

This situation is not confined to Maori however. Low income New Zealanders also experience similar inequalities. “It’s about getting the right resources delivered in the right way streamlining the connection between Government and Maori and other underserved communities.”

The Coalition will advocate for continued change in the health system to better support programmes targeting Maori and high needs communities.

“We will support our PHO members capacity to improve on how we deliver health services and programmes,” Royal said.

The eight-coalition members represent both rural and urban PHOs in Auckland, mid North Island, Tairawhiti and the Wanganui regions.

“Not only will this coalition enable us to share knowledge and health data research, but it will also enable us to be able to present a united front to government about the issues that affect Maori patients, whanau, wider communities and providers,” Royal said.

There are 81 PHOs nationwide that bring together doctors, nurses and other health professionals in the community to serve the needs of their enrolled populations. Through complex patient management systems PHOs are able to collect important health data that paints a picture of the health status of a particular community.

“This National Maori Coalition is unique because it represents significant Maori interests, a significant Maori enrolled population; and our combined data maps can provide a view of the Maori communities we service that is not available anywhere else,” Royal said.

The coalition plans to hold its next hui in February 2008. Member organisations include:

Waiora Healthcare, (Waitakere City),

Te Kupenga o Hoturoa PHO (South Auckland)

Tamaki PHO (Auckland)

Nga Mataapuna Oranga (Tauranga)

Ngati Porou Hauora (East Coast)

Toiora PHO (Hamilton)
Taumata Hauora (Whanganui)
North Waikato Raukura PHO (Frankton)


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