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Hawkes PHO appoints board and chairperson

Hawkes PHO appoints board and chairperson

The new Hawkes Bay Primary Health Organisation (HB PHO) has appointed a Board of Directors, with Dr Simon Bednarek of The Doctors group as chairperson and Audrey Robin of Te Kupenga Hauora as deputy chairperson.

HB PHO, formed under the government’s new regime for funding primary healthcare, begins operations on 1 October. Board members are Te Maari Joe (Te Kupenga Hauora), Richard Eastcott (First Health), Mark Pederson (Paradigm GP Healthcare Group), Jean Te Huia (Choices), and Brenda White (Te Whatuiapiti Trust).

A steering group consisting of several local health provider groups has been meeting since January 2003 to discuss and form a single PHO for Napier, Hastings and Central Hawkes Bay. There is already a PHO in Wairoa which has been in operation since January 2003.

“The formation of the Hawkes Bay PHO is a huge exercise,’ says Dr Bednarek. “It brings together over 100 GPs and three Maori provider organisations. We are working to create a gradual transition process for all involved, and our first priority is to set up the PHO itself.”

The PHO will also look at how it can improve access to services by removing barriers that many families face. The changes will be introduced gradually.
The PHO Board will also include community directors. The community nominations process is expected to be complete by Christmas 2003. The Board is currently recruiting an operations manager.

“For many people immediate changes will not be very visible, but over time we expect that they will see better information on services that are available to them,” comments Audrey Robin. “The PHO will also address issues around access, affordability and appropriateness of nursing/community workers delivering (community) services, particularly to Maori, Pacific peoples and rural communities.”

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Notes for editors

1. A PHO is a Primary Health Organisation – an entity that brings together various health providers and the community. The establishment of PHOs around the country has been occurring since the government issued its Primary Health Strategy in 2001. The aim of PHOs is to encourage providers and the community to work together to better plan and delivery primary health services to the community.

2. The groups involved in the local PHO are:
- General practices allied with the Paradigm group
- General practices allied with First Health
- General practitioners in The Doctors group
- General practices in the Hastings Health Centre
- Te Kupenga Hauora – Maori provider in Napier
- Te Whatuiapiti Trust – Maori provider based in Waipukurau
- Kahungunu Health Services (Choices) – a Maori provider based in Hastings

3. All of the GP practices involved deliver everyday primary healthcare services (GPs and practice nurses). This will continue for all the people registered with the GPs involved in the PHO.

4. The Maori providers between them already deliver a wide range of primary healthcare services such as mobile nurses, Te Kohanga Reo and school-based health services, maternity and midwifery services, well-child, health education, health promotion, mental health, and alcohol and drug counselling services.

Hawkes Bay PHO
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124 Vautier Street

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