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Primary Health Organisations continue to improve performance against health indicators

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Primary Health Organisations continue to improve performance  against health indicators

Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) continue to make good progress against a set of agreed national health indicators.

The PHO Performance Programme reports twice a year on the performance of individual PHOs against a nationally agreed set of indicators based on health priority areas. The latest information about PHOs' performance is available at and covers the six months to 31 December 2010.

The indicators covered include:

Breast and cervical cancer screening Cardiovascular risk assessment

Diabetes detection and follow-up

Influenza vaccination

Age-appropriate vaccinations for two year olds

Ischaemic CVD detection

The Chair of the PHO Performance Programme's Governance Group during the period under review, Brett Paradine, says it is pleasing to see continued improvement across all indicators in the latest data.

"In particular we're pleased that progress is being made in narrowing the gap between diverse population groups", he says.

"Diabetes is a serious health challenge for all New Zealanders so it is significant that the national average performance of all PHOs exceeded the Programme goal. In total, more than 100,000 New Zealanders with diabetes received their annual diabetes review during 2010, an increase of more than 19,000 on the previous year."

All PHOs continue to improve or maintain their breast screening coverage, with 21 PHOs (34.4%) achieving the Programme goal of 70% for the total population.

With Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) as the leading single cause of death in New Zealand Mr Paradine said it was particularly gratifying to see that over half the PHOs significantly increased their IHD detection rates compared to the previous period.

Mr Paradine says regular reporting of PHOs' performance informs the public about how their local PHO is doing on key health priorities.

"The data provides a very useful overview of how PHOs are performing but it needs to be read in context," he says. "Not all PHOs are the same - they serve very diverse communities and may have quite different starting points when it comes to making performance gains."

He says the health indicators measure the data collection and reporting process, not just the health care delivered, and they do not describe everything that PHOs do to improve the health of their communities.

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