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Maternity Care Proposal In The Hands Of Ministry

Monday, 2 July, 2001

New TEAM Maternity Care Proposal In The Hands Of The Ministry

A new national maternity care proposal has been put to the Ministry of Health by a TEAM of at least eight of the country’s primary maternity care organisations.

The joint proposal is in response to the Ministry’s suggestion in May this year that all providers of primary maternity care be on the same contract – called Section 88. This would mean midwives, GPs and specialists on alternative contracts, going back to Section 88 contracts with the Ministry.

A new generic maternity services contract is being proposed and the TEAM is very hopeful the Ministry will see the development of this joint proposal, which arose out of their discussions with individual maternity organizations, as a positive and helpful response. The TEAM also hopes the Ministry will retain the existing contracts until this new contract has been negotiated.

The eight maternity provider organisations involved so far are: Albany Maternity and Gynaecology; Dannevirke Health Services Ltd.; Hokianga Health Enterprise Trust; Mangere Health Resources Trust; MATPRO; Pegasus Health; South Auckland Maternity Care Ltd.; South Link Health Inc, and cover the country from Northland to Invercargill, including all major urban areas and many rural areas in both South and North Islands.

The midwives, GPs and specialists associated with these provider organisations are expected to deliver over 45% of all births in New Zealand over the next 12 months.

Conway Powell, who has drawn up the proposal on behalf of the TEAM, says “the proposed new contract would enable women to continue to receive the full range of maternity care options. The contract would also enable additional services to be provided to meet specific local needs.

“And practising GPs, midwives and specialists in maternity services will be retained. There are many GPs, for instance, who have only come back into maternity care since an alternative to Section 88 has been available,” he says.

“We expect the Ministry will be as keen as we are to come to a new arrangement that will result in one common contract for all the providers involved. So far eight have come on board, but there are others who have expressed interest in joining the TEAM and we welcome that. A common contract would reduce administrative complexity for the Ministry while ensuring women continue to get the range of care they have now.”

It is intended that the new contract will be consistent with the Section 88 contract in terms of information requirements and service descriptions - two of the concerns raised by the Ministry in May this year.

“We expect to hear back from the Ministry once they have completed their consultation process, which could be late July,” says Mr Powell.


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