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Calls to Increase Pacifika Midwife Numbers Supported

Media Release 5 February 2013
NZ College of Midwives Supports Calls to Increase Pacifika Midwife Numbers

Karen Guilliland, NZ College of Midwives Chief Executive, agrees with the reviewers of the CMDHB maternity services that there is an urgent need to increase the number of Pacifika midwives in the Counties Manakau area.

"The College held a Fono last year of Pacifika midwifery and maternity related groups to see how the profession could promote midwifery as a career and how the College could support the existing Pacifika workforce. The College has, as a result of the Fono, opened up two governance places on its National Committee for Pasifika midwives to provide and influence the way midwifery could build its Pacifika workforce,” she says.

In March this year, the New Zealand College of Midwives is also hosting a two day Fono together with the International Confederation of Midwives and the Australian College of Midwives, to plan a Pacific-wide strategy.

Karen Guilliland says the aim of these discussions is to take the issues and potential solutions wider across the Pacific nations.

“It is essential that we do not "poach" midwives from the already stretched Pacifika midwifery workforces,” she says. “We need to find strategies for recruiting and retaining the Pacifika midwifery workforce both in the nations of origin and New Zealand and Australia. One of the answers is to standardise the education of midwives across all our nations in line with the ICM standards so that we all have a bigger pool of confident midwives from which to recruit,” she says.

ENDS

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