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Government must support GP obstetricians

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Health Spokesman

24 October 2005

Government must support GP obstetricians

It is scandalous that Labour has done nothing to encourage general practitioner obstetricians, says National Party Health spokesman Paul Hutchison.

"While the recently announced increase in funding for midwives is long overdue, the Government continues to preside over the extinction of general practice obstetrics," says Dr Hutchison.

In 1996, there were 1200 general practice obstetricians. There are now less than 30 around New Zealand delivering babies.

"The 1999 maternity review recommended a team approach to obstetrics, including midwives, general practice obstetricians and specialists. However, this has largely been ignored by Labour.

"Continuity of care for mothers and babies is extremely important and there is a need for better integration between general practice and midwives.

"The Government should do everything possible to recognise the skills of midwives and general practitioners, so that mothers and babies do not fall through the cracks. This is particularly so in provincial and rural areas.

"Instead, Labour has ignored general practice obstetricians," says Dr Hutchison.


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