13 September 2023
Where’s the Detail?
The New Zealand College of Midwives is pleased to see some commitment to growing the midwifery workforce in Labour’s health announcement today.
College Chief Executive, Alison Eddy, says growing domestic intakes of midwifery students and reducing attrition rates from midwifery programmes also signaled in the plan, are positive moves. However, Ms Eddy adds that given the government’s health workforce plan noted midwifery as having the greatest critical shortage, with an estimated 40% gap, the College expected to see more specific detail for midwifery in today’s announcement.
“The College welcomes the Labour Party’s commitment to increase specific numbers of medical and nursing student places (335 and 700 respectively) yet oddly there is no similarly specific detail provided for midwifery,” she says. “We would have liked to have seen targeted midwifery retention initiatives alongside those announced today for our valued nurse and doctor colleagues*. Once again we are perplexed by the lack of detail necessary to address the long standing issues facing the midwifery profession and the significant effects this has on the wider health sector.”
Alison Eddy says the College notes the Government’s announcement is promising to “explore” regulatory changes to enable overseas educated midwives practice in New Zealand. While this is a short-term fix, longer-term investment to improve conditions for the existing workforce is the best solution to achieving a sustainable and home-grown workforce.
The College says it is also positive to see the issue of improving the sustainability of community midwifery and looking at integrated care teams through Kahu Taurima in the announcement this morning but more detail is needed and now.
“Without the detail there is nothing to hold the government to account,” says Ms Eddy. “We would welcome this detail which would provide us with confidence the ongoing challenges for the midwifery will be addressed.”
For more information please contact Ali Jones on 0272473112
*Developing an early career nursing framework to support nurses for the first three years after they first register. For doctors – establishing a National Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Support Service, to provide consistent coordination and support for junior doctors.