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ACT Backs Docs' Call For Wide Maternity Inquiry

ACT Backs Docs' Call For Wide Maternity Inquiry

Heather Roy MP Tuesday, July 8 2008

ACT Health Spokesman and Wellington-based MP Heather Roy today put her support behind doctors calling for the Government's review of maternity services to be extended into a wider inquiry, and said that Wellington is not the only region in crisis.

"This is a problem that encompasses the entire country and, as such, should be subject to an inquiry that has some teeth - not a simple review that absolves Labour of responsibility and results in nothing more than recommendations that are never followed up," Mrs Roy said.

"There has been an emerging crisis since the 1980s when, as Health Minister, Prime Minister Helen Clark instigated changes to midwifery. GPs throughout the country have now almost totally been driven out of obstetrics and delivering babies, and doctors are entirely accurate in their claims that there is a lack of supervision of newly qualified midwives.

"While it is all well and good for Labour to dish out cash bonuses to rural midwives for recruitment and retention purposes, what Kiwi women should have is real choice about who provides those services - whether it be their GP, a midwife, or obstetrician.

"I am calling on Health Minister David Cunliffe to put his self-acclaimed competence as a Minister to good use. He must re-introduce doctors to these procedures, and give expectant mothers more choice and certainty that they and their baby are in safe hands," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

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