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Maternity Tragedies Too Common

20 March 2006

Maternity Tragedies Too Common

The reported death of yet another healthy full term baby in a modern hospital with medical personnel available and no shortage of high tech equipment must be ringing alarm bells in the Ministry of Health says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“This is supposedly a first world country – we don’t have the excuse of shortages of trained staff or essential medical supplies but still these unnecessary deaths keep occurring.

“Three other such deaths have been reported on in recent months – two by the Wellington Coroner and one by the Health and Disability Commissioner, said Mrs Stewart.

“In these cases the reports are not made public until years after the actual deaths which begs the question of how many more such cases are awaiting reports and how many are simply closed without any enquiry taking place. I was advised of one such case only last week but was asked not to make the details public.

“These days older mothers are having bigger babies because of optimum nutrition and no smoking during pregnancy and to say that childbirth is not a medical procedure is tempting fate.

“However the Minister of Health must by now have some ideas about how he intends to improve the maternity services and he can be sure that we are all waiting to hear them,” said Mrs Stewart.


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