Nearly 40 organisations are now members of the new Federation of Primary Health Aoteraoa New Zealand – representing general practices serving about 3.7 million Kiwis.

Establishment Board chair Dame Annette King confirmed the latest 13 members today which includes ProCare, the country’s biggest non-aligned primary health organisation (PHO) and General Practice New Zealand whose 14 members include most of the country’s other biggest PHOs.

“This latest group application through General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) is a significant vote of confidence in the work of the Federation’s Establishment Board and the membership offering they have developed,” said King.

The 39 members are made up of 23 individual PHOs, five health professional organisations (representing nurses, midwives, pharmacists and optometrists), seven national health-related organisations (including the Heart Foundation, Family Planning and St John) and four umbrella organisations GPNZ, Primary Health Alliance, Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand (representing 27 national allied health professional associations) and the Home and Community Health Association. To date there is no GP professional organisation member.

King said the PHO membership encompasses general practices serving some 3.7 million enrolled New Zealanders.

Dr Jeff Lowe, chair of GPNZ, said he was personally committed to sector unity and GPNZ’s aim was to see the primary health sector united in its responsibility to its communities.

“This latest move, which brings the voice of organised general practice into the Federation, alongside such important multi-professional sector partners, takes us a significant step nearer seeing that aim come to fruition.”

In February the former health minister King was named as the inaugural independent chair of the new federation of primary health care providers and professional organisations.  This followed a summit attended by 70 primary health care leaders including members of current primary health umbrella groups the Primary Health Alliance, General Practice New Zealand, Health Care Aotearoa and the General Practice Leaders Forum as well as leaders from midwifery, allied health, nursing, medicine and NGOs.

General Practice New Zealand has 14 members including North and West Auckland’s Comprehensive Care, Wellington’s Compass Health, Canterbury’s Pegasus Health and Central PHO.  Eleven of the Primary Health Alliance’s 14 full voting members are PHOs including the deep south’s WellSouth Primary Health Network, Health Hawke’s Bay and Northland’s Manaia Health PHO.  Health Care Aotearoa represents a number of community and iwi primary health providers. The country currently has 33 PHOs in all.

King said the Federation was now receiving nominations from its membership to elect its Governance Board with the results expected during November 2018.

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