Media ReleaseFrom: New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)
- Primary health care is integral to the health system, as well as central to optimising population health and reducing health disparities
- Women, older adults and people living in socially deprived areas utilise primary health care services when compared to other groups.
- There is a growing shortage of doctors working in primary health care
- There is opportunity for nurses to extend their scope of practice to undertake roles that previously were undertaken by doctors
- Accurate knowledge of service utilisation supports the provision of primary health care services
The aim of our study was to examine socio-demographic trends in doctor and nurse utilisation rates for invoiced consultations in the Comprehensive Care Primary Health Organisation. We found that women, older adults and people living in socially deprived areas utilise primary care more frequently when compared to other population groups. Nurse utilisation rates were highest for Māori and Pacific patients.