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2020 - A Key Year For Midwives and Midwifery in New Zealand

“A watershed year for maternal health and wellbeing”. That’s how the College of Midwives Chief Executive, Alison Eddy, is describing 2020 with only a month left for people to sign the #backmidwives petition.

The College has today released the second in the series of #backmidwives campaign videos; the first video released late last year attracted more than 50,000 views. Ms Eddy says releasing the video today, it’s timely to also remind New Zealanders that this year is International Year of the Midwife.

“The latest video focuses on midwives themselves speaking about the positive and life-changing difference they make in women’s lives and those of their whanau. Our world leading continuity of care service risks being lost if the government does not hear our voices and acts urgently,” she says.

“The World Health Organisation has designated 2020 the Year of the Midwife to acknowledge the vital role midwives play in providing essential and effective health services worldwide. It’s very well timed for us as we strongly urge the government to effectively address inequitable pay, lack of support and an outdated funding model for community-based midwifery services,” says Alison Eddy.

More than 13,000 have now signed the petition which was launched late last year, calling for better support and funding for community midwives.

“It’s time to really push,” says Ms Eddy. “After broken promises and more than four years of negotiating with the Ministry of Health, the country’s midwives have had enough.”

Despite politicians and those holding the purse strings saying they understand the importance of midwives and midwifery as a profession, the College is not so sure MPs and bureaucrats comprehend what this team of highly trained health professionals does, and how critical midwives are to the wider maternity team.

“Midwives are in people’s homes, helping at the forefront of community care; identifying other issues including housing problems, other family members needing support, immunisation, violence and substance abuse – to name but a few,” says Ms Eddy.

The petition, which will be presented next year in Wellington and is live until March 1st (NZ Children’s Day) can be seen / signed here. There is also an option to send a digital postcard to a number of key MP’s.

The video released today can be seen here.

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