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Maternity Services Luck Of The Draw

15 April 2008

Maternity Services Luck Of The Draw

It seems to be the luck of the draw whether new mothers get to have a bit of a lie down after delivering their babies or whether they are shown the door immediately, especially in Wellington, says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“I have heard of a case where the mother went into hospital, delivered and was out again within four hours.

“Giving birth is not like shelling peas – the potential for anything from minor mishaps to full blown disaster is huge.

“The midwife shortage is an international problem. Recruiting offshore is likely to be expensive and unproductive because other countries are equally short of midwives and also have ageing workforces.

“However this situation is not new. The problem of deteriorating maternity services was put in the too hard basket by previous health ministers and the big question now is how the present Minister proposes to fix it.

“One possibility would be to negotiate the reintegration of GPs into maternity care so that expectant mothers can have the benefit of choice and more comprehensive care. The Ministry of Health supported paying for GPs to re-enter maternity care in a recent paper.

“It is timely advice. We need action before deaths occur,” said Mrs Stewart.


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