Health New Zealand launches funding to boost workforce development for Primary and Community Care

The interim New Zealand Health Plan, Te Pae Tata, identifies that strengthening primary and community care helps reduce the risk and burden of disease, reduces demand for more costly and intensive specialist care, and ultimately achieves better and more equitable health and wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders.

So, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora is introducing new funding to support the development of the primary and community health workforce.

The new funding will focus on further education and skills development for health workers in the primary and community care workforce (i.e. employed by PHOs, GP practices, Hauora Māori and Pacific community providers, or aged care providers).

Te Pae Tata also requires action with a strong focus on improving equity and access to primary health care. Research shows that expanding the skill mix available to primary care teams increases community access and improves equity outcomes. Comprehensive primary care teams within local provider networks support this and have a priority focus on Māori, Pacific, and rural people.

Nationally funded workforce development

A national fund is available to support primary and community care providers to attract, develop and retain health practitioners, through funding for postgraduate study courses that support skills development in primary care settings.

The funding will be given to education providers, to enable them to offer funded study for eligible participants.

Further information on the funding and eligibility criteria is on our website.

Regionally funded workforce development

Funding has also been allocated at a regional level to train, supervise and mentor people who may not have previously worked in primary and community health settings, to deliver new services and to support service integration through the following initiatives:

  • Funding for postgraduate study and vocational training courses that support skills development for a broader range of roles within primary care settings.
  • Funding for release time, supervision, and other costs such as travel to support health workers to access postgraduate study and vocational training.

Within regions, there will be engagement with primary and community providers to identify the training needs of eligible primary and community care health workers employed by PHOs, GP practices, Hauora Māori, and Pacific providers across the region.

Please visit the Health New Zealand website for more information and how to apply for this funding.