About us

Our vision

To be the hub for the development, exchange and promotion of policies and strategies which advance the objectives of the Primary Health Care Strategy through its member organisations

We believe that improving health outcomes for all is best achieved through a combination of clinical leadership and community involvement

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What we do

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 on behalf of Members for the benefit of their enrolled population
Promote community health
Foster effective partnerships between providers and communities
Foster and nurture key strategic relationships at a local and national level
Encourage collaboration, information and resource sharing within the sector
Contribute to the development and implementation of health policy at a national level
Promote organised general practice as a cornerstone of PHOs
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 2015:

  • Friday 6 March 2015 - General Meeting - Wellington
  • Friday 5 June 2015 - General Meeting - Wellington
  • Friday 4 September 2015 - Annual General Meeting - Wellington
  • Friday 4 December 2015 - General Meeting - Hawke's Bay

Executive Committee meetings will be held on the following dates during 2015:

  • Tuesday 17 February 2015 7:30pm via teleconference
  • Tuesday 19 May 2015 7:30pm via teleconference
  • Tuesday 18 August 2015 7:30pm via teleconference
  • Tuesday 17 November 2015 7:30pm via teleconference

Member meetings will be held on the following dates during 2016:

  • Friday 4 March 2016 - General Meeting - Wellington
  • Friday 3 June 2016 - General Meeting - Wellington
  • Friday 2 September 2016 - Annual General Meeting - Wellington
  • Friday 2 December 2016 - General Meeting - venue tbc

Executive Committee meetings will be held on the following dates during 2016:

  • Tuesday 16 February 2016 7:30pm via teleconference
  • Tuesday 17 May 2016 7:30pm via teleconference
  • Tuesday 16 August 2016 7:30pm via teleconference
  • Tuesday 15 November 2016 7:30pm via teleconference

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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 PHO 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 4 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:

  • John Ayling, PHO Alliance chair
  • John Hunter, Nelson Bays Primary Health chair
  • Dr Denis Lee, GP and East Health Trust chair
  • Ian Macara, WellSouth Primary Health Network chief executive
  • Bill Eschenbach, Rural Canterbury PHO chief executive officer
  • Dr Andrew Miller, GP and Manaia Health PHO chair
  • Liz Stockley, Health Hawke's Bay chief executive officer

A Chief Executive is responsible for the day-to-day running of the PHO Alliance through direct accountability to the PHO 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 sub-committee work-plan and programme set out below.

To fulfil and effectively discharge the charitable objects of the PHO Alliance whilst recognising the unique operating model, the Executive Committee oversees the following sub-committees through which the significant value-add for members and national influencing is secured:

  • Clinical Leadership and Integration sub-committee
  • Rural Health sub-committee
  • Maori and Pacific Health sub-committee
  • Finance sub-committee
  • PHO Performance sub-committee
  • PHO Services Agreement Amendment Protocol Group (PSAAP)

Each sub-committee is chaired by a member of the Executive Committee who is designated as the PHO Alliance lead for the remit of each sub-committee. The role of each sub-committee chair therefore includes, on behalf of all members:

To be recognised as the PHO Alliance ‘champion’ for the relevant subject area
To develop and oversee the work-plan of the sub-committee and present it to the Executive Committee for endorsement
To support the appropriate development of members including the sharing of best practice and promulgation of learning
Where agreed with the PHO Alliance chair, acting as spokesperson with external agencies such as the Ministry of Health and the media
To represent the PHO Alliance, and members, on external working groups, panels and national forums as appropriate

The membership of each sub-committee is determined by the respective sub-committee chair and may include external [non-member] partners and stakeholders as well as PHO Alliance members as necessary to fulfil its work-plan. The sub-committees meet as frequently as necessary and use a range of electronic or face-to-face forums. It is anticipated that members undertake actions between meetings, with the support of the Executive Officer, to ensure that each sub-committee continues to add value to all members.

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