News > Media Statement - 14 March 2018

Media Statement 14 March 2018

The Acting Director-General of Health, Stephen McKernan, met the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, Karen Guilliland and Deputy Chief Executive, Alison Eddy this morning (14 March) to discuss the co-design process and the Ministry’s response.

Both parties acknowledge the importance of women’s access to and experience of care, and the health and wellbeing of the midwifery workforce.

Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, Karen Guilliland says the Ministry of Health is taking the issue seriously and values the relationship with the College.

“We have been working together on the co-design project since May 2017. The process exposed the current vulnerability of community midwifery services and highlighted that many midwives are finding the workload unsustainable.

“I expressed the urgency needed to support the workforce and I am looking forward to exploring how we do this with the Ministry over the next month,” says Ms Guilliland.

The Acting Director-General of Health agrees the co-design process highlights the urgent need for a sustainable way of working for the community-based midwives.

“The Ministry values the role self-employed midwives bring to maternity care. We will continue to discuss with the College the range of measures required. This will ensure improved access to safe, integrated, high quality services that meet the needs of mother and baby and work better for our midwives in addressing hours of work, workload, income and support,” says Mr McKernan.