"Going the Extra Mile": A descriptive exploratory study of Primary Health Services based on the experiences of Pacific Primary Health Organisation Service managers and providers
Keywords:primary health care, pacific providers, social work, evaluation
INTRODUCTION: This exploratory study is part of a larger evaluation of the primary health care strategy (PHCS) in Aotearoa New Zealand, using a mixed methods research approach. The aims of this qualitative arm of the research were to explore the extent of use and satisfaction with the PHCS through the operation of Pacific-led Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) in relation to service provision and delivery from the service providers’ and managers’ perspectives.
METHOD: The exploratory study was conducted using a case study design and in-depth interviews with service managers and health providers at six Pacific-led PHOs. A review of the literature on primary healthcare was conducted prior to undertaking the research. In this literature review, several themes were noted from the review of policy documents providing background to the development of primary healthcare in New Zealand.
CONCLUSION: The themes from interviews suggest a core tension between the business model, Ministry reporting requirements, and more altruistic values of both managers and service providers in their delivery of services. Overall, there was a positive response to the lowered cost of healthcare from the providers and managers interviewed in the Pacific-led primary health services, mirroring the findings of the larger evaluation report of PHOs (Cumming et al., 2005). The availability of wrap-around, holistically based, accessible services delivered by culturally responsive health providers who were considered to “go the extra mile” for their clients was the predominant theme accounting for an increased uptake and use of the services. The implications for health social work are discussed.
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