About us

Our vision

To support the development, exchange and promotion of policies and strategies which advance health outcomes for the population of New Zealand through our member organisations

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What we do

The Primary Health Alliance (previously known as the PHO Alliance) was formally established as an Incorporated Society in September 2006 to provide national leadership on key issues affecting the Primary Health Care Strategy and Primary Health Organisations in New Zealand. Our objectives are to:

Advocate, with regards to health and wellbeing, on behalf of Members for the benefit of the population of New Zealand
Promote primary and community health through integrated multi-agency and multi-professional partnerships
Foster effective partnerships between providers and communities
Foster and nurture key strategic relationships at a local and national level
Encourage collaboration and the sharing of resources, good practice and information across Members and the wider sector
Contribute to the development and implementation of health policy at a national level
Promote and support enrolled list-based primary and community care
Promote General Practitioners as overarching clinical guardians for patient level primary and community care supported where appropriate by nominated care co-ordinators
Carry out other activities consistent with the charitable objects of the society

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Meeting dates

Member meetings will be held on the following dates during 2020:

  • Friday 6 March 2020 - Wellington
  • Friday 5 June 2020 - Christchurch
  • Friday 4 September 2020 - Wellington (including AGM)
  • Friday 4 December 2020 - Regional venue tbc

Executive Committee [teleconference] meetings will be held on the following dates during 2020:

  • Tuesday 11 February 2020
  • Tuesday 12 May 2020
  • Tuesday 11 August 2020
  • Tuesday 10 November 2020

Member meetings will be held on the following dates during 2021:

  • March 2021 - tbc
  • June 2021 - tbc
  • September 2021 - tbc
  • December 2021 - tbc

Executive Committee [teleconference] meetings will be held on the following dates during 2021:

  • February 2021 - tbc
  • May 2021 - tbc
  • August 2021 - tbc
  • November 2021 - tbc

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What is a PHO?

PHOs are predominantly funded by district health boards to support the provision of essential primary health care services, mostly through general practices to those people who are enrolled with the PHO.

Primary health care relates to the professional health care received in the community, usually from a general practitioner (GP), practice nurse or allied health professional. Primary health care covers a broad range of health and preventative services, including health education, counselling, disease prevention and screening.

A PHO provides services either directly or through its provider members and network or contracted providers. These services intend to improve and maintain the health of the entire enrolled PHO population, as well as providing services in the community to restore people’s health when they are unwell. A key aim is to ensure GP services are better linked with other primary and secondary health services (such as allied health services and specialist hospital services) to ensure a seamless continuum of care, in particular to better manage long term conditions, maintain the population's independence and prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

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Our governance

The Primary Health Alliance is governed by its members, for its members. Our day-to-day governance is undertaken by an Executive Committee directly elected annually at the Annual General Meeting by individual members in line with the constitution of the organisation. The Executive Committee has up to 6 elected members and any number of additional co-opted members as required to provide the capacity and capability deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.

Our current Executive Committee members are:

  • Dr Angus Chambers, Primary Health Alliance Chair, GP and Christchurch PHO Chair
  • Dr Luke Bradford, GP and Western Bay of Plenty PHO Chair
  • Jane Cartwright, Executive Officer of New Zealand Breast Feeding Alliance
  • Bill Eschenbach, Waitaha Primary Health Chief Executive Officer
  • Karen Guilliland, New Zealand College of Midwives Consultant
  • John Hunter, Nelson Bays Primary Health Chair
  • Dr Andrew Miller, GP and Trustee of Mahitahi Hauora
  • Dr Ash Revell, Green Cross Health Medical Division General Manager
  • Kirsten Stone, Chief Executive Officer of Rotorua Area Primary Health Services (RAPHS)

A Chief Executive is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Primary Health Alliance through direct accountability to the Primary Health Alliance Chair. In keeping with the low-cost operating principles of the organisation, this post is part-time and predominantly supports, rather than leads, the organisation's work-plan and strategic progress.

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