Concern at maternity review

The Southern District Health Board risked upsetting "young mums" who ought to be consulted about its rural maternity review, board member Kaye Crowther said at the board meeting in Invercargill last week.

Mrs Crowther expressed concern about the rural maternity review, being undertaken after some facilities approached management with financial and workforce issues.

The matter prompted a heated discussion at last month's disability support advisory and community and public health advisory committee meeting.

Mrs Crowther said mothers were "stakeholders" and had an interest because the review could affect the care they received.

SDHB finance and funding general manager Robert Mackway-Jones said public consultation would occur if changes were recommended by the advisory group undertaking the review.

Board member Neville Cook said there were indications some maternity providers felt threatened by the review.

Mr Mackway-Jones said he was reluctant to accept providers felt threatened, as the review was taking place only because several providers had approached the board with their concerns.

The board supported an understanding approach to funding issues, not applying a national funding formula which favoured large maternity providers with "economies of scale", Mr Mackway-Jones said.

The advisory group is expected to report to the board in early November.



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