Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Concerns expressed about maternity report

PRESS RELEASE TO: All Health Reporters/Chief Executives/Press Officers

FROM: Dr Philip Rushmer

DATE: 15 January, 2001

Concerns expressed about maternity report

Proposals outlined in a Health Funding Authority document about maternity services will do little or nothing to prevent GPs from giving up obstetrics, and may have serious consequences for specialist services, the New Zealand Medical Association says.

The NZMA remains of the view that fundamental changes are needed to the maternity system, to recognise the different roles of doctors and midwives.

The HFA report recommends that government funding for visits to Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) is increased from approximately $24.60 to $29.50.

"This increase is better than nothing, but it will not bring back GPs who have given up obstetrics, or do anything to retain the few who remain," said Dr Philip Rushmer, NZMA Board member and GP Council Chairman. "An average GP visit costs about $37-45. Maternity services are free to the patient, so doctors are not allowed to charge any co-payment, meaning they often lose income by offering this service. The fee has not been raised for eight years.

"The proposed fee would still be lower than that for under-sixes ($32.50), which has not been reviewed for three years and which has never fully covered most doctors' costs."

Another concern, Dr Rushmer said, is the proposal to align all existing LMC contracts to the standard HFA contract (formerly called Section 51).

"Various contracts exist which have more favourable conditions than the S51 contract. These are generally working well and have enabled the provision of shared care between doctors and midwives. If these contracts are changed to comply with the terms and conditions of S51, this will be a further disincentive for doctors to remain working in obstetrics," Dr Rushmer said. "This will also further reduce choice for many women."

A third concern is the proposal to restrict specialist obstetricians from claiming under S51 where they are employed on-call by Health and Hospital Services (now District Health Boards).

"Often the on-call payments are very low, and it is important that specialist obstetricians can access adequate payments for their services. Already many obstetricians are giving up maternity work and turning solely to gynaecology. This would worsen this trend, and could undermine the provision of specialist services. The consequences of implementing this proposal need very careful assessment."

Dr Rushmer said many of the report's other proposals, concerning quality and access, were sensible and the NZMA looked forward to discussing all the recommendations with the Ministry of Health.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news