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Women Still Missing Out On Post-Natal Care

Dr Paul Hutchison
National Associate Health Spokesperson

2nd February 2004

Women still missing out on post-natal care

The Chief Executive Officer of Waitemata DHB has admitted there are no psychiatric services available for post-natal women, says National's Associate Health spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison.

"This is an appalling situation. Health Minister Annette King told me in her reply to a written question on January 5th this year 'that she was unaware of any District Health Board in New Zealand where there are service deficiencies of treating post natal depression.'

"Surely she was told of the media coverage in December that featured lack of post natal facilities in Auckland," says Dr Hutchison.

Waitemata DHB CEO Dr Dwayne Crombie confirmed to the Health Select Committee on Friday that Maternal Mental Health services were a high priority, but to date the situation has not improved.

"In September last year a mental health services letter said that 'due to a very severe shortage in staff numbers, the Waitemata Maternal Mental Health team regrets they are currently unable to accept any new referrals at the present time.' The Minister must have missed this memo as well."

Dr Hutchison says post-natal depression needs early urgent intervention.

"It is preventable but can become a major problem that profoundly affects families and newborn infants.

"The Labour Government is strong in rhetoric about fixing mental health but their record is dismal. The present minister is not even aware how badly they have failed women of the Auckland region," says Dr Hutchison


Attached: Answers to written questions from January 5th 2004

-----Original Message----- From: qwawf Sent: Monday, 5 January 2004 8:35 a.m. To: Alwyn Black Cc: Paul Hutchison; Alwyn Black Subject: 13801 (2003) Published - Health - Normal Reply

Question: What is the rate of post natal depression is in New Zealand and how it has changed over the last 5,10, 15 and 20 years?

Portfolio: Health Minister: Hon Annette King Date Lodged:16/12/2003

Answer Text: This information is not collected and reported. However, studies show that postnatal depression occurs in 10-20 percent of women, and 50 percent of these will not have recovered by the end of the first postpartum year.

Attachment: None Date Received:24/12/2003

-----Original Message----- From: qwawf Sent: Monday, 5 January 2004 8:35 a.m. To: Alwyn Black Cc: Paul Hutchison; Alwyn Black Subject: 13810 (2003) Published - Health - Normal Reply

Question: Is she aware of any District Health Boards in New Zealand where there are service deficiencies for treating post natal depression?

Portfolio: Health Minister: Hon Annette King Date Lodged:16/12/2003

Answer Text: No

Attachment: None Date Received:24/12/2003

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