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PRHC703 Strategy and Leadership in Primary Health Care

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
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Focuses on strategic planning to improve practice, quality and safety of primary health care in New Zealand, reducing disparities in health outcomes, and fostering inter-professional capability including advanced skills in teamwork and collaborative leadership.

This paper is especially relevant for anyone working in a primary care and integrated care setting or for a primary health organisation, including general practitioners, physiotherapists, practice nurses, other primary care nurses, pharmacists, primary care managers & administrators and social workers. PRHC 703 introduces the theory of complexity and systems thinking and how this informs strategy and governance, leadership and teamworking and how to successfully implement change. This is an applied paper and asks students to actively work on a project in their workplace. It assumes experience working in the current primary health care sector in New Zealand and builds on that experience with a strong interprofessional focus.

Paper title Strategy and Leadership in Primary Health Care
Paper code PRHC703
Subject Primary Health Care
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,889.00
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $10,674.00

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Suitable for experienced health professionals from a range of disciplines. 
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission.


Teaching staff

Conveners: Dr Pauline Horrill and Associate Professor Eileen McKinlay

Paper Structure

PHRC703 is a core paper for the Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Health Care (PGCertPHC) and Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care. The paper is designed to focus on particular key areas of strategy and leadership organised into four modules. Informed strategic approaches, Effective teams and collaborative practice, Governance, quality and safety frameworks, Leadership for change.

There are core readings associated with each module, plus Zoom videoconferences throughout the semester and a compulsory workshop period. Study Skills, technology support and resources are provided to students, at no-charge, via a custom built site accessed through Blackboard.

Teaching Arrangements

One compulsory workshop period (dates TBC). Other teaching done via Blackboard and online videoconferencing.


All resources available either via Blackboard or other online resources

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will demonstrate an understanding of theory of complexity and systems thinking and how this informs strategy and governance, leadership and teamworking and how to successfully implement change.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system