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New Rural PHO Established Tomorrow

30 September 2003

Canterbury’s second primary health organisation (PHO) will be formally launched tomorrow (1 October). The rural Canterbury PHO will cover Ashburton, Rangiora, Rakaia, Methven and Oxford. The PHO, the third in the South Island, will serve an estimated 50,000 enrolled patients and will include 31 general practitioners and 39 practice nurses.

Chief Executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, Jean O’Callaghan, said the PHO is a significant milestone for health in the region.

‘This is our second primary health organisation, and we look forward to more being established in our region. The Rural Canterbury PHO will bring together teams of community public health providers. It is an important step forward in the Health Board’s approach to primary health care.’

The PHO’s interim Board Chairman Dr Winston McKean said the PHO would focus on promoting health in the community as well as treating people when they are ill. One of the PHO’s priorities would be to consult with local communities to identify health needs and the best way to allocate health promotion funding.

‘As of 1 October, the government will introduce additional funding for youth under the age of 18. We are currently finalising our fees policy for this age group with the Canterbury District Health Board.’

The interim PHO Board members are Dr Winston McKean (Chair), Tracy Potiki, Dr Stephen Brown, Steve Lowndes, Kath Adams, Linda Grennell, Bede O’Malley, Debbie Allen, Gavin Marshall.


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