Practice nurses and general practitioners work alongside one another in surgeries around the country, but from now on
they’ll be doing so at an organisation level as well.
The Royal NZ College of General Practitioners and the NZ College of Practice Nurses are to form an umbrella group, the
NZ College of Primary Care - retaining their individual autonomy but working more closely together at a national level
to improve patient care.
“This already happens in practices every day,” explained RNZCGP Chairperson Dr Ralph Wiles, “and it’s both appropriate
and necessary that the leadership of those professions mirror that in the way we work.”
Nurses’ College Chairperson Marion Guy says the new College of Primary Care will “share educational resources to improve
the quality of training, and maintenance of professional standards. It means we are not reinventing the wheel for each
Both groups envisage the new College eventually going beyond general practitioners and practice nurses to other groups,
such as practice managers, and in fact have already begun discussions with groups such as this about a closer liaison.
Other primary care groups, such as pharmacists, may be approached later “but we want to start crawling with just the two
groups initially, and see how we get on before expanding,” Dr Wiles says. “Because of its origins, the New Zealand
College of Primary Health Care necessarily represents professionals working in General Practice, but also recognises the
contribution of other primary health workers. The College is willing to discuss collegial linkages with these other
Three members of the executive of each of the two constituent Colleges will meet regularly to discuss issues and
formulate policy, and it is hoped that the new New Zealand College of Primary Health Care can be promoted to the public
and the health sector as one which speaks for both general practitioners and practice nurses with a united voice.
Contacts: Marion Guy (07) 578-6808 or (025) 277-9800 Dr Ralph Wiles (07) 886-5239 or (021) 658-564
or: Rex Widerstrom (04) 496-5962 or (025) 549-637