Primary health care
From the Ministry of Health's primary health care website, primary health care means 'health and preventative services, including health education, counseling, disease prevention and screening'. Primary health care is coordinated by 81 PHOs across the country - to raise the level of health and well-being of all New Zealanders.
Can this ideal - that we should all have the same access to health care services and encouragement to lead healthier lifestyles - survive the latest political moves to reduce administrative costs at the PHO and DHB level? Or will some of us (rural people and ethnic minorities) be left out in the cold again?
John Hicks' recent article in the Southland Times on the demise of Southland's PHOs and its effect on rural people is worth a read. You can even comment on his article directly on the Southland Times website - just click on the comment link. Will a big, broad Southland (or Otago?) PHO be sensitive to the fact that towns like Otautau need help in retaining good doctors and nurses? If change is in the air, then have your say on how you would like to see primary health care administered in our local community.