Kiwi Polemicist

August 16, 2008

Biting the hand that feeds

Today the NZ Herald has an article covering the shortage of midwives in this country – no surprises there. But there is one part of the article that is cause for profound concern.

The article describes how the shortage of Lead Maternity Carers causes women to have to ring around for days or weeks once they know they’re pregnant, trying to find someone to look after them and their baby (this is a country where the true tax rate is about 45% and we supposedly have cradle-to-grave free health care).

The article then mentions the three community birthing units run by the Counties Manukau District Health Board, in Papakura, Botany, and Pukekohe. These are units for straight forward deliveries only, and if anything goes seriously wrong a transfer to the main hospital at Middlemore is required.

The article says in part:

The board promotes the community units as a safe option for women expected to have a straightforward delivery and has increased their use by more than 10 per cent, to over 1300 deliveries a year.

Some independent midwives are such enthusiastic supporters of the cause, says Knetsch [CMDHB general manger of women’s health], that they advise women to engage another provider if they insist on going to Middlemore.

What arrogance! These midwives are supposed to be serving women during what is a difficult of phase of their lives, and instead they are using the shortage of midwives to manipulate the women into having babies delivered where the midwife thinks it is best to go. If a pregnant woman wants to have the security of delivering in a major hospital in case something goes wrong, that should be her choice. She is a taxpayer, paying for the midwife and the hospital, so she could call the shots.

I know a person in the health sector who told me, on condition of anonymity, that there is a strong feminist element among the midwives of this country. Clearly the Nanny State ethos of the feminists who run this country is shared by some midwives.


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