Pinnacle Midlands Health Network chief executive Helen Parker says she was aware the DHB was proposing to open a practice, as it applied to the PHO for a contract. Pinnacle declined.
“But we didn’t know they’d started enrolling patients until we had calls from practices saying they’d had requests to have patient notes transferred and that [the practice was] offering free general practice,” Ms Parker says.
General Practice New Zealand chief executive Liz Stockley has also received calls from concerned practices.
Ms Stockley questions the contractual basis for the practice, as offering free general practice “goes against” the PHO Services Agreement.
“It shows no respect for the work of the existing practices and PHOs. How are they able to offer free primary care? Where is this policy decision?”
Ms Parker put these concerns to Taranaki DHB on 8 January, but says she has had “no information” in response.
“It’s very disappointing, to have a new practice enrolling patients, with no communication to other practices.
“As far as I know, the practice doesn’t have a PHO contract, so what does the policy framework look like? Why would they approve a new model two to three months before the health-system reform designs are due to be published?”
New Zealand Doctor on 19 January approached the DHB with its own queries, and was told to wait a few weeks to a month.