Auckland PHO is a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) operating within Auckland City and is one of five PHOs who are part of the Auckland District Health Board.
Auckland PHO funds and co-ordinates services, provides resources and expertise for practices and delivers some specialised primary healthcare services. First level primary healthcare is provided by 23 General Practices with 70 GPs and 50 Practice Nurses who service 64,000 enrolled patients throughout central Auckland in Auckland City, Avondale, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert, Meadowbank, Grey Lynn, Great Barrier and Waiheke Island.
While many of our services are directed towards individuals and illness, we are also focused on issues that impact on the wellness of specific groups and communities within our enrolled population, of whom 19% are Maori, 8% Pacific and 26% are “High Needs” – quintile 5, Maori and Pacific.
The PHO has responsibility for ensuring that current challenges in community healthcare are being met. These challenges include child and adolescent health, immunisation, mental health and long term conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular/heart disease.
What is a Primary Health Organisation (PHO) ?
PHOs are the local structures for delivering and co-coordinating primary health care services. PHOs bring together GPs, nurses and other health professionals (such as Maori health workers, health promotion workers, dieticians, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists and midwives) in the community to serve the needs of their enrolled populations. Most GPs belong to a PHO.
PHOs vary widely in size and structure and are not-for-profit. The first PHOs were established in July 2002 and there are now 81 PHOs around the country. DHBs worked with local communities and provider organisations to establish PHOs in their regions.
PHOs get a set amount of funding from the government to subsidise a range of health services. The funding is based on the numbers and characteristics (e.g., age, sex and ethnicity) of people enrolled with them. That funding pays for:
· Providing care and treatment when people are ill
· Helping people stay healthy
· Reaching out to those groups in their community who have poor health or who are missing out on primary health care.
All PHOs receive additional funding for Health Promotion, and are able to access Services to Improve Access funding to provide new services or improved access to reduce health inequalities among high-need groups that are known to have the worst health status. Very Low Cost Access payment for PHOs and practices that charge very low fees to patients was introduced on 1 October 2006. The very low cost access payment was introduced as a way to support, encourage, and reward PHOs and their practices that, in order to deliver on very low cost access to primary health care and reduce health inequalities, have forgone revenue from patient fees.