Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Govt births new midwife pay scheme

Changes to how community midwives are paid will better recognise the time and travel required in more remote parts of New Zealand and the service provided to mothers and whānau with complex needs, Associate Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall said today.

“The Primary Maternity Services Notice has been upgraded, to better fund care for women and whānau in rural areas, and those with complex clinical or social needs,” Dr Verrall said.

The Notice sets out how self-employed primary maternity care providers are paid, and remunerates midwives for services provided from the beginning of pregnancy until six weeks after the baby is born.

“Budget 2020 included $85 million over four years to boost primary maternity care for these women. The changes to the Notice enable that funding to be delivered,” says Dr Verrall.

“I am committed to strengthening the maternity system, and improving the support available to our maternity care providers and the communities they serve.

“The 2007 Notice was outdated and provided no compensation for the additional time and travel required of some maternity care providers. This created an unsustainable business model in rural and highly deprived communities, and barriers to access.

“With the 2021 Notice, we will have a more flexible funding mechanism. The updated Notice will introduce rural practice, travel, and additional care payments, to more equitably fund travel and provision of maternity care.

“This will help improve the sustainability of community-based primary maternity services.

“And it is part of this Government’s commitment to lay the foundations for a better future. Because investing in a good start in life for our tamariki is one of the most important ways we can support the long-term wellbeing of New Zealanders,” she said.

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