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More Concerns About Maternity Services

Media Release

29 October 2008

More Concerns About Maternity Services

The revelation that the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has warned the Australians not to copy our maternity system has been met with the usual excuses from the usual people says New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

“The Associate Health Minister quoted a consumer satisfaction survey showing that 90% of women are happy with the service they received and said that the Government is committed to retaining the maternity care model as it is.

“The New Zealand College of Midwives contributed a couple of red herrings about privatisation and workforce shortages in Australia – shortages which incidentally we also have here.

“The President of RANZCOG says the Ministry of Health has received a report showing a doubling in maternal mortality since the introduction of midwife-led care. The Minister responsible for maternity issues says the report will be released in the next few months.

“This raises questions as to whether the Minister has the report and if so why it is not being released. The cynical among us might say that it will probably see the light of day post-election and pre-Christmas when its impact will be diluted.

“What is indisputable is that while maternity services might be satisfactory for 90% of users there are 10% who are not happy. We are not talking about consumer satisfaction with a brand of washing powder here – we are talking about 10% of new mothers and babies who are not receiving the standard of care they should have.

“The Minister’s excuse that the Government has developed a Maternity Action Plan and released it for consultation is not good enough. It’s time for immediate action to improve outcomes for all mothers and babies,” said Mrs Stewart.


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