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GPs oppose proposed changes to maternity care

GPs oppose proposed changes to maternity care

The General Practice Leaders Forum (GPLF) supports the position taken today by the NZMA and strongly opposes the proposed changes to the Maternity Services Notice.

The GPLF urges the Ministry of Health to reconsider its position before women, families and communities end up with even less choice and less care when bringing new family and community members into the world.

GPLF Chair Dr Bev O’Keefe fears many more GPs will cease working within the maternity contract because of the proposed changes and this could result in women, couples and families losing the opportunity to have their GP involved at all in their maternity care, even in the early stages.

The passing of the proposal will most likely worsen the current shortage of skilled health professionals who will be available to offer maternity care.

Dr O’Keefe says “The Ministry has the choice to increase the involvement of GPs in the antenatal and post natal care of their patients, thereby helping the current shortages but the current proposals will not achieve the workforce increases that the Ministry says it wants”.

This notice does not begin to address the issues of utilizing all the scarce rural workforce resources acting together in the interest of mothers and their babies.

GPLF believes the government should be focusing on strategies to encourage GPs to continue or to return to providing maternity care for their female patients, thus providing women and families with real choice.

“Poor decisions by the Ministry will be costly to all New Zealanders” said Dr O’Keefe.

ENDS

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