Taupo Medical Centre GP and owner Peter Battersby recently joined the Pinnacle Executive Committee, promising to provide a strong voice for local general practices.
Peter has been actively involved in promotion of general practice in the region. His special interests include aviation medicine (he holds Civil Aviation Authority medical examiner 1 status), undertakes minor surgery including vasectomies, palliative care and is now adopting the Health Care Home model of care.
"I was excited about the model of care when I first heard of it at a Pinnacle conference some years ago, and I started to think about how we would implement it here. This is what I'm most interested in," says Peter.
"Our practice building was old and needed renovations, so this was a good opportunity for us to incorporate the model of care and future-proof ourselves. We are a major health hub which includes a laboratory, x-ray services as well as an administration building that will host the Midlands Health Network Taupo team."
Peter's passion for sustainable general practice was obvious, so he was offered the opportunity to join the executive committee.
"The executive committee was looking for someone from our area to come on board, and this is the first representation for Taupo in recent years."
Peter grew up in Hamilton, trained at Auckland University Medical School, and then spent a few years working in Auckland and Canada. He then returned to a previous locum job at Taupo Medical Centre, having been offered a partnership, and has been there for the past 30 years as a GP.
During his time in general practice, he's longed to see more Ministry of Health funding flow through to primary and secondary care in the future.
"Whether that's achievable or not, it's been one of my political objectives over the years. I hope I can be instrumental in seeing this happen in my time here, as it's something that would really make the health system flow better."
"As an example, if you got ill and you went to see your GP, they could immediately direct you to the best care in secondary service, funded through the practice. The patient's health would be supported and maintained through the passion of primary care, to get the best result.
"I believe this would work, there are some models in America already doing it."
Peter's governance experience includes a current role at the Lake Taupo Community Hospice, of which he has been a board member for 10 years. He has previously been board member of the Taupo Hospital Health Society, a previous board member of Taupo Life Education Trust and a previous board member of Lake Taupo PHO before it merged with other PHOs to form Midlands Health Network.
Photo: Taupo GP Peter Battersby looks forward to being a part of the Pinnacle Executive Committee