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Hodgson fails kiwi mums and babies

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Health Spokesman

6 January 2006

Hodgson fails kiwi mums and babies

Health Minister Pete Hodgson is failing kiwi mums and babies by not reviewing maternity services, says National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall.

"Late last year, the Wellington Coroner recommended a review following the tragic deaths of two babies. This added to the growing consensus that New Zealand's maternity services could be improved," says Mr Ryall.

"A review of maternity services would have laid a solid platform for changes.

"Mr Hodgson has now dismissed the Coroner's view, saying Mr Evans only has 'a law degree'. This is the most stupid comment made by a Minister for years.

"Of course the Coroner has a law degree. Mr Evans' job is to assess the evidence. On the basis of evidence he says medical professionals should review maternity services.

"But now Mr Hodgson, a veterinarian, says that is not needed!

"Maternity services are not good enough. Things need to change and National will keep the pressure on the Government to make sure they do. We need stronger links at the primary care level with midwives and GPs working more closely together. Mums should be seeing more of their doctor during and after pregnancy.

"Midwifery services are under tremendous pressure. Many mums are scouring the cities for a midwife to look after them. The Government has done little to fix this crisis.

"All the while, kiwi mums and babies miss out and could be at risk," says Mr Ryall.


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