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What is a PHO?

Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) within New Zealand were formed in the early 2000s as part of the Government's health reforms. These organisations consist of health providers and funding is provided on an enrolled population basis.

Along with the new organisations came a number of new requirements related to changes in the way services were being delivered and funded.

The Wellington Independent Practitioner's Association (WIPA) was already an organisation that operated through the Wellington health district, providing a number of management related services to general practices. WIPA was in a good position to work with providers to begin to form some of the first Primary Health Organisation's in the country. WIPA, along with the Greater Wellington Health Trust and Compass Health Limited later formed what is today Compass Health.

Compass Health retains overall management of one PHO that covers the Capital & Coast and Wairarapa health districts. The PHO's focus is on the delivery of health services, while also providing a number of the shared services the PHO requires to operate as an entity.