College Of Midwives Calls For The Release Of The Heather Simpson Report
The New Zealand College of Midwives is calling on the Government to release details of the funding allocated to maternity services in this year’s budget, and is supporting their GP colleagues in asking the Minister of Health to immediately release Heather Simpson’s report.
College Chief Executive, Alison Eddy, says she believes the Government has been unwilling to commit to an agreement to address the long-standing issues with the current maternity funding model¹ until the Simpson report was released.
“Community midwives have been seeking an updated contracting arrangement for a number of years, and are increasingly concerned that progress has been stalled because the Government is waiting on any recommendations contained in Heather Simpson’s report before changes are made. But we simply can’t wait for yet another report. Midwives have been waiting long enough, literally for years, and despite repeated requests for information about this year’s budget funding around maternity, the silence is deafening,” she says. “We can’t wait any longer.”
Alison Eddy says community midwives are still waiting for funding support and reimbursement for the extra work they were required to do during the health response to Covid-19 but despite repeated requests for information and timeframes, again they’ve heard nothing.
“It appears we are being totally disrespected and treated with contempt by this Government which says it places high importance on ‘the early years’ and the ‘first 1000 days’. Well we aren’t seeing it, and being a key frontline workforce that plays a critical role in those areas, we are at a loss to understand why they are not communicating with us.”
Ms Eddy is challenging the Minister to release the Simpson report and announce details around midwifery and maternity budget funding immediately.
“If the Minister can’t or won’t, he should front up to the midwives of New Zealand as to why.”