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Labour `Underwhelmed' By Ryall's Maternity Care Announcement

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Annette King
Annette King

Wellington, May 20 NZPA - Labour says it wants more details of the Government's commitment to improve maternity services.

Health Minister Tony Ryall announced yesterday an extra $103.5 million would be spent over the next four years, with $38.5 million of that used to give new mothers a longer stay in hospital if they needed it.

The funding will also be used to pay for more consultations for new mothers and obstetric training or refresher courses for doctors who want to return to maternity care.

Labour's deputy leader, Annette King, said the announcement was "vague and underwhelming" and short on detail of how much longer new mothers would be able to stay in hospital.

She also said the Government was not dealing with the most serious maternity care problem -- the shortage of midwives.

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) welcomed the announcement but said the structure of maternity services would have to be changed before real improvements could be achieved.

NZMA chairman Peter Foley doctors and nurses were unlikely to be enticed back into the maternity service unless it was integrated into the Primary Health Organisation network.

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