29 Jul 2009

Niue women will still have to give birth in NZ says Health Minister

5:52 am on 29 July 2009

Niue's Minister of Health says women will need to wait for a second specialist doctor to be found before they can give birth safely on the island.

All pregnant woman have been travelling to New Zealand to deliver their babies for the past eighteen months.

A new doctor with obstetric qualifications is due to arrive in Niue next week but O'Love Jacobsen says an anthesthetist is also required in case of any emergencies during delivery.

"We don't anticipate that things will go wrong, but sometimes they do. I wasn't prepared to carry that. So I said OK everyone who is pregnant and ready to have a baby, I'm going to send you away from here until such a time I can find an anthesthetist and someone who can deliver the babies and do emergency caesars if I have to."

Mrs Jacobsen hopes to resolve the staffing crisis by September.

A new hospital was built on Niue in 2006 with aid from New Zealand after cyclone Heta devastated the island in 2004.