The Ministry of Health and the New Zealand College of Midwives are working together with urgency on a maternity programme designed to address current pressure on the midwifery-led service.
Acting Director-General Stephen McKernan acknowledges collaboration over the last month between the College and Ministry officials has resulted in a positive way forward.
“Addressing workforce shortages and collaborating on a maternity programme that delivers a sustainable midwifery model of care has guided discussions.
“The Ministry has taken on board advice from the College to include elements of the co-design process.
“As a result the Ministry has agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the College to improve ongoing collaboration on the maternity work programme,” says Mr McKernan.
New Zealand College of Midwives, Chief Executive Karen Guilliland says women, their babies and families need improved access to safe, integrated, high quality services.
“The College and the Ministry agree a midwifery continuity of care model must be resourced effectively to provide support during pregnancy, labour and birth and through the postnatal period until the baby is six week old.
“I am also pleased that the issues raised by the current workforce shortage will be prioritised for resolution; for example, continuing to provide rural primary maternity service provision in all areas,” says Ms Guilliland.