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What is a Primary Health Network?

In New Zealand, Primary Health Networks are responsible for organising and providing essential primary health care services to enrolled patients in a region. Some services are delivered by the PHN but most are delivered by contracted providers - general practices and community providers.

There are 30 primary health organisations or primary health networks in New Zealand funded by the district health boards. WellSouth is the only PHN in the Southern district and has 81 practices in its network.

Health services provided PHNs/PHOs are designed to improve and maintain the health of the population, and address inequities in access to services and health outcomes that exist for Māori, Pasifika and high needs populations. PHN also aim to ensure primary health services are connected with other health services in the community and in secondary services.

PHOs/PHNs are key partners to the System Level Measures framework which aims to improve health outcomes for people by supporting DHBs to work in collaboration with health system partners (primary, community and hospital) using quality improvement measures.

More about Primary Health Organisations.