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Risks For Mothers And Babies Totally Unacceptable

Media Release
6 November 2003

Risks For Mothers And Babies Totally Unacceptable

New Zealand First is deeply concerned at revelations today that there are only 20 GPs left delivering babies in New Zealand and that there has been an increase in the number of pregnant women and new mothers admitted to hospital with both pregnancy and post natal complications.

New Zealand First family affairs spokesperson Barbara Stewart said this situation indicates that ante-natal screening is not adequate and that time spent in hospital after giving birth may be too short in many cases.

“Prior to 1986 all expectant mothers were under the care of GPs. When changes were made by the last Labour Government the medical profession warned that there would be a drop in the standard of care and this is exactly what has happened’ said Mrs Stewart.

“The fragmented birth system is creating unnecessary risks for new mothers and babies and it warrants a more thoughtful response from the Health Ministry than “There will always be people who want things to be the way they were.”

“The facts show that the present system of managing care for pregnant women must be re-examined. Mothers and babies deserve a first world maternity system and the Government must dip into its much-vaunted surplus and find the funds to provide one,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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