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Commitment to general practice in new appointment

Commitment to general practice role in new appointment

A HIGH-PROFILE appointment within the Ministry of Health clearly signals our belief that working with General Practitioners and other primary health care providers offers the best chance of improving the overall wellbeing of New Zealanders, Director-General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi says.

"I am delighted to announce that Dr Jim Primrose will be taking up the new role of Chief Advisor in General Practice early next year," Dr Poutasi said today.

"He will have a lead role in implementing the Government's Primary Health Care Strategy, guiding and assisting the formation and effective working of primary health organisations which are the face of accessible and affordable primary health care."

Dr Primrose is currently general manager of First Health - who are at the forefront of delivering mainstream services in partnership with Maori and other providers - most recently in a primary health organisation in Tairawhiti. First Health provides management support to more than 330 GPs across the North Island, and these GPs provide services to an enrolled population of 550,000 New Zealanders.

He has also worked for Midland Health - one of four regional health authorities later amalgamated into the Health Funding Authority and subsequently the Ministry of Health.

"Jim Primrose has both the on-the-ground experience as a GP and a vision of the way general practice can best contribute to improving some of our most damning health statistics. I am very pleased to welcome him to this new position," Dr Poutasi said.

Implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy is key to achieving many of the Government's health objectives. Lowering the barriers which prevent many people having access to primary health care is expected to make a difference to such diverse issues as controlling diabetes, improving nutrition and reducing inequalities for Mäori and Pacific peoples;

So far six primary health organisations have been set up, caring for some 115,000 people. They are Tapasefika and Te Kupenga o Hoturoa in Counties Manukau, Ngati Porou Hauora and Turanganui in Tairawhiti, Piki te Ora ki te Awakairangi in the Hutt and another on the West Coast of the South Island.

Seven more are scheduled for establishment from January 1, and a larger number for April 1.

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