4 Aug 2009

More birthing units wanted by Rural Women NZ

1:01 pm on 4 August 2009

The Rural Women New Zealand organisation hopes support will grow for primary birthing units, to improve access to maternity services by rural families.

Taranaki District Health Board is to urgently investigate setting-up units in New Plymouth and Hawera.

Rural Women wants other regions to follow Taranaki's lead. It says primary birthing units in smaller centres would mean more accessible care for women in rural areas where there are few or no maternity services.

Rural Women NZ is also calling on the Government to do something about chronic under-funding of rural midwives, including travel costs.

It says rural women are finding it increasingly difficult to find a midwife, who are not taking on clients or locum work in country areas because of the impact on income and workload stress.