15 April 2019
Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is pleased to read that an Accord has been reached between the midwives’ unions, DHBs and Ministry of Health to address longstanding workforce issues.
The recent Midwifery Workforce Accord will ensure that strategies are developed to retain and grow the existing midwifery workforce and that action is taken on issues of safe staffing and workloads.
“RWNZ has consistently promoted improved resourcing for midwives, particularly in rural areas,” says RWNZ Spokesperson on Health Portfolio, Margaret Pittaway.
“As the New Zealand birth rate increases, the number of midwives and full-time equivalents has been steadily shrinking since 2010.
“Rural communities are heavily impacted by this workforce shortage because core midwives and LMCs provide the majority of services to rural mothers and babies.
“Yet, rural midwives are burdened with excessive workloads, limited access to maternity centres and high travel times and costs.
“RWNZ hopes that the details of this Accord will ensure that all parties involved work together to develop specific strategies to support midwives working in rural areas- it is vital to the health of our rural communities that the Midwifery Workforce Accord is ‘rural proofed’,” says Ms Pittaway.
For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
04 473 5524