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Rural Midwifery Funding Boost

PRESS RELEASE
7 December 2006
For immediate release

Rural Midwifery Funding Boost

Rural Women New Zealand welcomes the news this week of an additional $2 million of funding for rural midwives on top of the recently announced Remote Rural Midwives Support Scheme. The new funding recognizes the increased costs burden faced by rural midwives in delivering services to remote areas.

As a result of midwives leaving rural practice, rural women throughout the country have been facing increasing difficulties accessing midwifery services and postnatal support.

Geographic isolation, lack of emergency backup, locum support and professional development, as well as a real income disparity, have combined to lure midwives towards urban practice.

While the new funding is welcomed, it is vital that it meets its target if it is to make a difference, and not consumed by administration and management costs. We must also take a holistic approach. Rural communities need the services of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists, and we support the call for better co-operation between the medical services.

ENDS

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