Money for maternity services

The government is giving more money for maternity services. One reason for this is that more women are having babies at the moment and hospitals need more beds and more staff. Statistics New Zealand said the number of babies born in March this year is the highest since March 1991. No one knows why women are having more babies and no one knows whether this will continue.

The Minister of Health, Tony Ryall, said there will be an extra $103 million in total for the next four years. Some of this money is to allow first time mothers to stay longer in hospital if they want to. New mothers sometimes need help with breast feeding. At the moment, women stay an average of two days in hospital after a normal birth. If a woman has a caesarean or a more complicated birth, she usually stays five days.

Hospital staff say that the extra money will not help right now because there is a shortage of midwives. Wellington hospital also has a shortage of beds. Two years ago, they were planning to give mothers a $100 grocery voucher if they went home six hours after giving birth. Many people thought this put women under too much pressure and the hospital changed their minds about this plan.

Some of this money is to re-train GPs who would like to go back to delivering babies. Many doctors have given up this work. The Minister of Health would like doctors to return to maternity services.


  1. hello miss Syme! I was just wondering what is gp, general physician??
    all the best!

  2. General Practitioner

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