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Assurances Sought On Maternity Care

7 February 2006

Assurances Sought On Maternity Care

New Zealand First is calling on the Minister of Health to make public the Government’s intentions regarding changes to maternity care.

“The latest addition to the chorus of voices calling for change is the Health and Disability Commissioner who was reporting on yet another avoidable death, similar to those which were the subject of the Wellington Coroner’s report, said New Zealand First’s Health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart.

“The Minister has vetoed the Wellington Coroner’s recommendation for an independent review of maternity services. However the proposed alternative of setting up a database of maternal and prenatal deaths provides nothing in the way of reassurance for pregnant women or those contemplating pregnancy.

“The public has a right to know, as soon as possible, exactly what the Minister intends to do to improve the current system,” said Mrs Stewart.

“It is obvious that changes are necessary to ensure that women have access to the best possible medical care while pregnant and when giving birth. New Zealand First supports negotiating the reintegration of GPs into maternity care in order to provide expectant mothers with choice and more comprehensive care.

“The Minister has no shortage of advice or options – the only option not open to him is to do nothing,” said Mrs Stewart.


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