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Discharge a decision for mothers and professionals

Hon Steve Chadwick
Associate Minister of Health

15 April 2008 Media Statement

Discharge a decision for mothers and their health professionals

Decisions about when mothers return home from hospital should be reached collaboratively between the mother and their health professionals, Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

“I want to reassure mothers that no clinician would knowingly discharge a stressed or unwell woman or baby. However, many women prefer to be at home with their family and whanau support. In my experience, if both mother and baby are well home is often the best place for them,” Steve Chadwick said.

“The important thing is that women receive the support they need, and in a timely manner. My job as Associate Health Minister is to make sure that all women have suitable post-natal support and this is an issue I’m currently looking at. It does not matter where women receive that support – just as long as they receive it.

“Another area I’m working on is increasing the availability of ante-natal information, which helps parents make informed choices about birthing and post-natal care.

“When there are pressures on the midwifery workforce, there may need to be more flexibility around who provides post-natal support. At such times services could be provided by lead maternity carers, district health boards (DHBs), primary health organisations, Well Child providers or other community based organisations.

“It is equally important that at times of pressure, midwifery services are looked at from a regional perspective – neighbouring DHBs can work together to find solutions.”


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