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NZMA Supports Maternity Contract Proposal

The New Zealand Medical Association supports a proposal which will assist pregnant women to have a choice of health professional.

The Ministry of Health has announced it will cancel all existing contracts and put maternity providers on a standard notice. But a group of maternity providers has asked the Ministry to negotiate a new contract with them.

"The NZMA is opposed to the Ministry of Health plan to cancel existing maternity contracts, which allow many doctors and midwives to work together collaboratively and give women the choice of having a GP or a midwife as their lead maternity carer and having shared care," said NZMA Chairman Dr John Adams.

"Putting everyone on a standard notice is a lowest common denominator approach which will have the effect of reducing choices for pregnant women. This standard approach (now called Section 88) has not worked in recent years, leading to an exodus of GPs from maternity care.

"We urge the Ministry to negotiate to work with the maternity providers, to take the best from the contracts which currently exist, and develop an acceptable maternity services contract," Dr Adams concluded.


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