Midwives Call For Last Big Push
Midwives are asking for a “last big push” as the #backmidwives petition closing date of March 1st fast approaches.
The final video in the #backmidwives campaign is also being released today.
Chief Executive of The College of Midwives, Alison Eddy, says the support shown to date has been awesome however is keen to at least match the number of signatures amassed to save Radio NZ’s ConcertFM station.
“Midwives too are taonga; we are the kaitiaki of pregnancy and birth, and I’d like to think New Zealanders really value us and want to keep us around too,” she says. “We gathered 10,000 signatures in the first two days when the petition launched last year, that of course slowed as expected and we currently have over 16,000 signatures.
The College is in its 5th year of negotiations with the Government after withdrawing legal action filed in 2015 aimed to address longstanding issues with a contract and pay mechanism; the current one (Section 88 – a legislative mechanism) clearly no longer appropriate for self-employed community midwives. “The College withdrew legal action in favour of mediation with the Ministry of Health as we believed that a quicker resolution would be achieved. It’s frustrating and disheartening for the profession to not yet have these issues resolved after all this time” she says.
Alison Eddy says having a Government so focussed on family, child wellbeing and specifically the first 1000 days of a child’s life, suggests funding midwives to effectively deliver the outcomes they do so well, would be a given. It’s not.
“Midwives, (and by association mothers and babies), have been let down by the slow pace of progress” says Ms Eddy. “This year’s budget on May 14 is pretty much a ‘make or break’ for community-based midwives.”
The latest video takes us on the road with rural midwife, Bex Tidball, as she works alongside mums to be and new mums in rural Canterbury.
“Like all midwives, Bex makes a huge difference in women’s lives and those of their whanau and our world leading continuity of care service risks being lost if the Government does not hear our voices and acts urgently,” she says.
The petition is live until March 1st (NZ Children’s Day). The video released today can be seen at www.backmidwives.org.nz