15 October 2008
National Party's promise of support for maternity services welcomed
"The NZ College of Midwives welcomes the National Party's continuing support of the maternity services" says Karen
"Post natal support of both mothers and babies at the level each family needs is the way in which we ensure families
enter parenthood with confidence. The extra well child visits in the early weeks accompanied with Plunkets Parentline
will be an added boost to families requiring help to adjust to parenthood," she said.
The College of Midwives is pleased to see the National Party's support for more birthing facilities closer to where
families live. Publicly funded units are a vital ingredient in a quality maternity service and this view has been
reflected by all parties involved in drafting the Maternity Action Plan released by the government last week. "It is
very pleasing to have this sort of accord across political parties" says Karen Guilliland.
Midwives will also be pleased to see some recognition of the burden of student midwives debt although would urge the
Party to extend this debt reduction further to apply to all new midwifery graduates as the profession needs considerable
more support if we are to retain the midwives we have and to attract women to midwifery as a career. The College will be
looking forward to discussing with the National Party the further innovations and funding for the midwifery workforce
that will be needed to meet the National Party's maternity strategy.
The College is unsure how the plans for additional GP visits will be able to be implemented given the shortage of GP’s
with obstetric qualifications. Currently women have free and direct access to specialist help in the public maternity
services and “this generally works extremely well”, says Karen Guilliland.