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Midwives And Doctors Should Support Each Other

4 May 2006

“A Fundamental Need is for Midwives and Our
Profession to Support EACH OTHER” SAYS COLLEGE OF

A series of meetings between the Chairman of the NZ branch of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and groups of midwives have taken place recently in response to recent controversies and the strained relations between the two professions.

“The purpose of these meetings was to engage with midwives, get to understand the issues from the midwives’ viewpoint and for both professions to work collaboratively to promote safe practice. The meetings were on the whole very positive, with suggestions for a way forward in developing the maternity workforce,” according to Dr Alec Ekeroma.

As Friday 5 May approaches, marking International Midwives Day, it is important to note that Obstetricians and Midwives, despite some differences in approach and philosophies, do work collaboratively to deliver a quality maternity service for mothers and their babies across New Zealand.

The importance of recognising and addressing the issues that impact significantly on the maternity workforce is evident amongst the good attendance at the meetings which were held in South & Central Auckland and Hamilton.

Suggestions to “better develop” the maternity service and workforce from both professions included:

- The peer review process needs to acknowledge and appreciate the experience of others and be based on demonstrated mutual respect

- Recognise that doctors work in a different environment to midwives and vice versa

- There needs to be a closer relationship between the midwifery schools and hospitals

“Midwives have provided an excellent service to pregnant women and RANZCOG is supportive of the Ministry of Health’s plans to review referral guidelines, access agreements and address workforce issues,” said Dr Ekeroma today.


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