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Maternity Services Positive For Women

“It is reassuring that our maternity services are delivering for the majority of New Zealand women," Minister of Health Wyatt Creech said today.

“I want the experience of having a baby to be as positive as possible for mums and their families.

"The National Health Committee’s review released today shows that in general it is a positive experience. I am pleased that the Committee has found that women seem very satisfied and that the services are safe.

“While our maternity services are good – we can always make improvements. The National Health Committee recommends some fine-tuning to make them even better.

"As Minister I generally support the recommendations in the National Health Committee report and have asked for advice as to how they should be best picked up by the Government and the Health Funding Authority.

"I support better integration of maternity care into ongoing primary care and women being able to see a GP for a specific number of maternity visits to complement the care they receive from their Lead Maternity Carer.

"We want primary care working well for people – that's one of the Government's key health goals.

"I also would like to see health professionals working better together. A strong message has come from women that they want this too. I am sure health professionals will listen.

"I am also concerned about the need for better information and data to ensure there is sufficient monitoring of services.

"The Government has asked the HFA to actively work on combining and improving the information already collected by setting up a peri-natal database. The HFA expects to be able to produce regular reports using data from Lead Maternity Carers and hospitals by early next year which will provide accurate record of birth outcomes and problems. This will provide the basis for actions to further improve services."

Mr Creech said more was also being done for women with additional need.

This included:

 Whanau support services for at risk women.
 More support women who live in remote rural areas to ensure they get access to Lead Maternity Carers and post-natal home visits.
 Smoking cessation programmes for pregnant women.

“In some areas more work is needed, and I have asked the Ministry of Health to consult with the Health Funding Authority and advise me on what needs to be done," Mr Creech concluded.

ENDS

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