Media Release/ 16 July 2020
Positive News for Mothers, Babies and Midwives
The budget announcement by the Government today has been welcomed by the New Zealand College of Midwives.
College Chief Executive, Alison Eddy, says the funding is an acknowledgement of the importance of our maternity service and the need to resource it appropriately, for our women, babies and whānau.
“We appreciate the commitment by the Government to improve the equity and accessibility of maternity service. This is also an acknowledgment of the vital work that midwives do as the frontline health professionals best placed to make the biggest difference with the right resourcing,” she says.
The College welcomes the announcement that the broad range of primary care services that midwives currently provide is finally going to be better resourced. This announcement supports all midwives – when the maternity service is appropriately resourced, pressures are eased for community and hospital midwives which contributes to the sustainability of the profession.
This package addresses some of the key areas in maternity where increased funding can create significant positive changes for women. The College is pleased to see better support to provide care for rural women and women with higher needs during pregnancy.
The Health and Disability System Review has strongly recommended improvements in equity and accessibility across all health services, which reflects the concerns that the College has expressed for many years,” says Ms Eddy. “Women who are socially and economically disadvantaged often have greater care needs, and midwives welcome any increase in resourcing that will better support them to provide the care women need.”
The announcement today will help strengthen New Zealand’s midwifery-led maternity service which has shown, especially in the last few months, why it is an essential service and considered by the World Health Organisation as an example of maternity best practice.
“Overall we are pleased that the funding announced today will start to address some of the inequities for women and for midwives who provide their care and we look forward to working through the details,” says Alison Eddy.
*See latest research regarding the effectiveness of the NZ model of maternity care here
Please contact Ali Jones, RedPR on 027 247 3112 or Maria Scott, NZCOM on 021 329 405
Please note that Alison Eddy is unavailable for interview. College President and Far North LMC, Nicole Pihema is available, as are a couple of other community-based midwives, and College Midwifery Advisor, Jacqui Anderson.