Population Health Advisory Board Report
Ann Richardson, Chair

PHAB resized

Back row: Karaitiana Tickell, Yvonne Crichton-Hill, Ben Hudson Front Row: Mastura Abd Rahman, Helen Lockett, Ann Richardson – Independent Chair, Vicky Brewer, Sandy Brinsdon. Absent from photo: Kim Burgess, Les Toop

The Pegasus Population Health Advisory Board (PHAB), was established by Pegasus Health to support the organisation to ensure that the people of Canterbury receive quality, coordinated care that is easy to access and is community based, and to support all population groups to achieve optimum health outcomes and reduce disparities. PHAB has a particular focus on equity and places an ‘equity lens’ over the activity of the organisation, especially newly proposed programmes and services. PHAB also focuses on the quality of the patient experience; fostering engagement with the community and Pegasus partners; and advocating for an environment that promotes, and supports wellbeing.

Since establishment, PHAB has received reports on the health status of the Canterbury population and have had presentations from Pegasus Health staff. PHAB has identified the following initial priority areas:

  • Equity – overarching PHAB priority
  • Pacific ambulatory sensitive hospitalisation (ASH) rates for children aged 0-4 years
  • Oral Health 
  • Amenable mortality 

We have also identified the following evidence-informed preventive strategies to address these priority areas:

Primary prevention

  • Fluoridation of drinking water. 
  • Decrease risk factors (tobacco, alcohol, obesity, poor nutrition, decrease sugar and salt intake, decrease red/processed meat intake).
  • Increase protective factors (physical activity, breast feeding, increased intake of plant-based foods). 
  • Enhance existing partnerships between oral health services, public health, and primary care.

Secondary prevention

  • Improve access to primary care. Important barriers to access are cost, appointment not available at usual medical centre within 24h, and lack of transport (Ministry of Health NZ Health Survey 2016/17).
  • Prioritise access for Māori and Pacific in order to improve equity. 
  • Reviews show consistent findings that community health workers (CHWs) can improve access to primary care for disadvantaged/ under-served groups. Shared culture/experience and strong links with the communities they serve, and strong partnerships with providers, are important, and CHWs must be supported by appropriate, accessible services.
  • Pathways to primary care – Awareness, Accessibility, and Acceptability are important.

PHAB has already made one recommendation to the Pegasus Health Charitable Ltd Board, about supporting fluoridation of drinking water, and we will be discussing further recommendations related to the above priorities at further meetings.

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