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Midwife’s Treatment of Teenage Mother Is Scandalous

Barbara Stewart MP
Spokesperson for Health

3 September 2013

Midwife’s Treatment of Teenage Mother Nothing Short Of Scandalous

Maternity services are long overdue for a shakeup because of the lack of professional standards among midwives, says New Zealand First.

Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says it’s a sad reflection on the state of maternity services that a midwife received only a slap on the wrist for her treatment of a pregnant 16-year-old that was so bad that the teenager required major reconstructive surgery.

“The Health and Disability Commissioner obviously has limits on what he can do when faced with such incompetence from someone who has supposedly trained to look after both mothers and babies.

“However the requirement to apologise, reflect on her failings in a written report and undertake extensive training to get her skills up to standard means that the midwife in question will get off much more lightly than her patient, who will bear the scars for life.

“The Minister of Health should read this report and immediately reconsider mandatory supervision for a midwife’s first year, as recommended by the Health Select Committee in 2010.

“That is the very least that he can do to try to avoid situations like this occurring.

“The maternity system obviously needs an impartial review – the Minister cannot sit on his hands any longer,” says Mrs. Stewart.


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