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Nats repeat call for maternity services review

National repeats call for maternity services review

National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall, has repeated his call for an independent review of maternity services, saying women need to be reassured that it’s safe to have babies in this country.

"There are more and more frightening incidents coming to light, and more and more professional groups calling for change. The Government must act.

"How many more babies will die before the Government realises that the current system is flawed?

“Collating data is not going to fix the very real problems that are putting babies and mothers at risk.

"We need a review to understand the nature of the problem, and how to fix it.

"This should be a proper independent review with full terms of reference, not an internal snow-job which fails to ask the tough questions or hold anyone to account.

"Maternity services 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. Hospital protocols also need improving.

“A review of maternity services will lay a solid platform for change. Such a review would identify options for stronger and more collaborative services.

“Health Minister Pete Hodgson has continually rejected calls for such a review. While he continues to do nothing about the situation, Kiwi mums and babes remain at unnecessary risk,” said Mr Ryall.

Late last year, the Wellington Coroner recommended a review after the tragic deaths of two babies which added to the growing consensus that New Zealand’s maternity services could be greatly improved.

The Health and Disability Commissioner today called for hospital birthing protocols to be strengthened following his investigation of a tragedy at North Shore Hospital.


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