What is primary health care?
Primary health care is usually the first contact you have with health professionals; for example, when you visit your GP or nurse. It is not hospital care but professional health care that is probably based near to where you and your whānau (family) live or work. Your GP and nurse provide most of your primary health care.
What is a primary health organisation?
A PHO is a group of primary health care providers in a particular area responsible for organising and delivering primary health care to meet the needs of all the people enrolled with them. A PHO will involve their communities in determining what are appropriate services for the PHO to provide.
Can I enrol with two primary health organisations?
No. You should enrol with the service you use most often. You can still visit other primary health care professionals, but you will benefit more if you get most of your health care from a regular doctor, nurse or health service.
Can I see another doctor or primary health care professional who doesn’t belong to my primary health organisation?
What happens if I visit another service?
The Ministry of Health will inform your PHO of the date of your visit to another health service but will NOT give them the name of that other health service, the reason for your visit or any of your health information. The other health service you visited will check that you are happy for them to send your health information to your usual doctor or health service.
What will happen if I do not enrol with a primary health organisation?
Enrolment is voluntary. If you choose not to enrol, you will still be able to visit any primary health care professionals to get the care you need. However, your health professional may not have received Government funding for a particular service that you need, and they may not be able to access important details about your health history to help with your health care.
Can I enrol my children with a primary health organisation?
Yes, you can enrol any children in your care if they are 16 years of age or younger. Ask at your GP’s reception to find out how to enrol your children.
Can I enrol other members of my whanau (family)?
No, if they are over the age of 16, they need to enrol themselves with a PHO, unless you have power of attorney or you are their authorised representative. However, you can take PHO enrolment forms and information home for other adult family members to consider. Ask at reception for the enrolment forms and extra information.
Will I still need to pay to see my GP or nurse?
You will still have to pay to see your GP or nurse in most areas of the country. However, some PHOs in areas where there are higher numbers of people with poorer health may be able to offer reduced fees, or even some free health care services. All PHO health services are legally required to publicly display their current standard charges. If you have any questions about the health services provided or the charges at a particular PHO, ask at reception.
What if I want to change my GP and enrol somewhere else?
You can leave or change your PHO or GP at any time. When you enrol with a new PHO, the Ministry of Health will advise your old PHO that you have enrolled somewhere else. However, they will NOT give your old PHO the name of your new health service or PHO. Your new PHO will receive Government funding for you instead of your old PHO.
What happens to my primary health organisation enrolment information?
When you enrol with a PHO, the PHO will add your enrolment information to an enrolment register that is then sent to the Ministry of Health. The information you provide remains confidential at all times. To find out more about your health information go to our Code of Rights page.