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Cautious Welcome To New Maternity Plan

Dr Helen Rodenburg President

GPs are pleased with the Ministry of Health’s new maternity plan, and are optimistic that it forms “the foundations of a constructive approach”, says Royal NZ College of General Practitioners President Dr Helen Rodenburg.

“The fact that organisations will be able to continue to contract – meaning organisations such as Wellington’s Matpro, Southlink Health, Pegasus in Christchurch and similar services will survive – is very good news,” Dr Rodenburg said, “as is the crucial decision that price equity will be achieved by moving the rate paid to all providers upwards rather than down to the lowest common denominator.

“That means innovative and effective programmes built on multi-disciplinary quality care for women won’t be forced to close their doors, as was going to happen under the initial proposal,” she said. “We’re pleased the Ministry has decided to avoid further disruption to maternity services, and has decided to build upon the work of existing providers.

”We look forward to working with the Ministry and providers on workforce development issues – work still needs to be done around valuing the different areas of expertise that the various members of an obstetric care team bring to the process. But this is an important step forward in providing stability and certainty in the provision of well-resourced maternity services to New Zealand women, and the Ministry are to be congratulated on having revised their approach.”

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