Patients now under new fund network

23:14, Jan 15 2013

Registered patients at Matamata Medical Centre are now enrolled with the Hauraki Primary Health Organisation Network.

The centre changed to the network from its previous primary health organisation (PHO) Midlands Health Network on January 1.

There are no changes to the service provided by the centre - fees are the same, patients will continue to see the same GP and referrals to specialists and Waikato Hospital are still in place.

Waikato Hospital remains the base hospital for any admissions.

The only change will come from the availability and allocation of funding to the centre.

Waikato District Health Board distributes government funding to Hauraki, Midlands and a third PHO, National Hauora Coalition.

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This funding is then passed on to providers, to subsidise the cost of doctor fees and other types of care like free diabetes review visits.

Matamata Medical Centre practice manager Gillian Vincent said they hoped to have better access to funds available for primary health under Hauraki.

"One of the main reasons for changing was Midlands Health has become a very big organisation.

"Hauraki is much smaller and has more focus on rural areas."

Ms Vincent said the decision to move was made by the six principal GPs who own Matamata Medical Centre.

Under the smaller network, a Matamata doctor will have a position on the board of directors, meaning the centre will have more influence on how funding is allocated.

Plans to introduce Care Plus, a chronic care management programme aimed at improving care and lowering costs for high- need patients, is one result of the change.

Any patients who want to return to Midlands Health Network can do so by registering at a Midlands practice.

For more information ask your GP, go to health.govt.nz or request an information sheet from the medical centre.

Matamata Chronicle