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Pak 'n' Save Approach to Babies has to go

Pak 'n' Save Approach to Babies has to go

Dr Pita Sharples, Finance Spokesperson for the Maori Party
Friday 30 November 2007

Maori Party Finance Spokesperson, Dr Pita Sharples, has today expressed relief that Wellington’s Capital and Coast District Health Broad has scrapped its ill-thought out bribe to evict newborn babies from hospital within six hours of birth.

“What sort of welcome would that have been for our precious newborns - to be served up an eviction notice disguised as a $100 grocery voucher, and their Mums told to get out there and go it alone?” said Dr Sharples.

“Every report released tells us we must invest in establishing a solid early foundation for children if we are to improve the desperate situation of our health and wellbeing indicators” said Dr Sharples.

“The report from the paediatric society this week tells us that Maori, Pasifika and low income children are experiencing declining health outcomes, so too does the Hauora: Maori Standards of Health IV publication released a week ago today."

"Against this kind a backdrop, a $100 trip to New World is both grossly negligent and an insult”.

“The Maori Party has consistently promoted the need to develop a Genuine Progress Index, which in counting the wider costs of health and wellbeing, reminds us that effective solutions require a more comprehensive analysis than one driven by commercial imperatives alone” said Dr Sharples.

“The blessing of a new born baby, the value of children and whanau, the confidence and wellbeing of mother and children, the capacity of the family to prepare for the new child are all factors that must be considered of vital importance in the decisions made post-delivery” said Dr Sharples. “And we are of course mindful of the crisis state of the midwifery workforce which inevitably creates a level of pressure upon the professionals which is untenable”.

“The solutions must be found across the health bureaucracy and at a national level” said Dr Sharples. “The vulnerability of so many whanau who are experiencing growing levels of poverty must not be capitalised upon by hospital administrators, looking to balance budgets”.

“If we are to see genuine progress for New Zealand families, we do not expect basic essentials of life to be threatened in order to cope with a workforce crisis”.

“Capital and Coast Health’s approach is only one of many – other hospitals throughout New Zealand have been offering inducements such as free disposable nappies, or a month’s supply of laundry vouchers in order to push mums and babies out of the production line as quickly as possible” said Dr Sharples.

"We need a longterm, strategic approach which will address the midwifery shortage, analyse crisis points in maternity services and paediatric care and invest in sustainable whanau wellbeing, rather than just focusing only on the merry ring of the cash register" ended Dr Sharples.


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