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King welcomes PHO report

2 December 2003 Media Statement

King welcomes PHO report

Health Minister Annette King says regular reports on implementation of the Primary Health Care Strategy will help the sector realise the strategy's full potential.

She welcomed an independent report, released today, on the first year of primary health organisations (PHOs). The report, written from the PHO perspective, was prepared by Victoria University’s Health Services Research Centre.

Ms King said the Government was committed to developing an open and transparent health system in partnership with the sector.

“Last month I released the first stage of an independent evaluation of the Government’s health reforms, and this new research on PHOs reflects our commitment to rigorous analysis of what we are trying to achieve. That is the way we can build on strengths and work on weaknesses.”

Ms King said the Primary Health Care Strategy and the PHOs spearheading it have an important role in helping reduce health inequalities and improve the overall health of all New Zealanders.

“I'm aware there have been some concerns in the sector about implementation of the strategy and they are reflected in the report. However, what is also reflected is that PHOs themselves understand the value of the strategy and how crucial they are to the health of their enrolled populations. I am pleased they have been willing to work collaboratively through first-year difficulties.

“There will always be room to keep improving the system, particularly when changes are as significant as those that have occurred under the Primary Health Care Strategy are implemented.

”The Ministry of Health and district health boards are listening to PHOs and already addressing many of the concerns raised in the report. Evaluation such as this is invaluable so that all parts of the sector can continue to work together to make the system stronger and stronger, and achieve the health improvements we all want to achieve.”

The report is available on http://www.vuw.ac.nz/hsrc/publications/new

ENDS

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