Tēnā koutou members,
A funding package of $242m for primary maternity services has been announced by Hon. Julie-Anne Genter today. This is the largest funding boost ever added to primary maternity services.
This is a welcome acknowledgement of the vital work that midwives already do in the community and have not been appropriately resourced for until now. This package contributes to addressing inequities in access to care, especially for women with greater needs.
This announcement supports all midwives – the community and hospital midwifery workforces are closely linked and resources going into any part of the sector assist to ease pressures across both the community and the hospital settings. The College also continues to support MERAS in working towards pay equity for employed midwives.
The Minister acknowledged midwives and the crucial role they have providing care for women, babies and whānau:
“I just really want to shout out to all of the health professionals, but particularly the midwives who I know have been working so hard for such a long time and they really do go above and beyond for the women that they’re looking after and the babies that they’re looking after… The changes that we are making should enable midwives to be paid throughout the course of their support to the women, and that should attract more midwives back into the profession and attract more new midwives so they can feel supported to do this incredibly important work.”
Breakdown of the $242m (over 4 years):
Community midwifery funding
- $85m for new Section 88 modules
The Minister stated that “A lot of the new modules will reflect the work that the College of Midwives has done with the Ministry to acknowledge and compensate midwives for the additional work they’re doing”.
New funding modules to be added to Section 88 will go out for consultation with the sector and are expected to be available by the end of the year:
– care for women who have complex needs during pregnancy, including additional funding for antenatal home visits where required
– care during the first trimester
– miscarriage and baby loss care
- Immediate additional funding from the 1st July 2020 to compensate rural midwives for additional travel
- $57m across the Section 88 Notice: 2.18% increase per year for next 4 years
- Additional funding to cover Covid-related costs (already announced and disbursed)
- $35m for Maternity Action Plan
Comprehensive plan in development by the Ministry of Health, including:
– quality and safety
– improving health equity
– focus on Kaupapa Māori maternity care
– support for breastfeeding
- $60m for Health and Disability System Review recommendations relating to integrated community maternity services
- In addition to the above funding the government has already announced a $300m capital investment in in health system. Of this, $83m is designated for maternal and child health, and will include improvements in maternity wards, NICUs, and additional services for mental health and disability facilities, all of which contribute to improved outcomes in maternity.
The College will be meeting with the Ministry to work through the details of this funding package and will ensure members are kept up to date.
Midwifery Advisor / Kaiwhakawhānau Tohutohu
New Zealand College of Midwives/ Te Kāreti o ngā Kaiwhakawhānau ki Aotearoa