29 Jul 2009

Niue Opposition MP hopes women will soon be able to give birth on Niue

7:58 am on 29 July 2009

Pregnant women in Niue will soon be able to have their babies locally with the appointment of a new Senior Medical Officer.

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

Opposition MP Terry Coe says a lack of appropriate medical staff has meant pregnant women on the island have travelled to New Zealand to have their babies at high cost to the government and the families.

"Usually the husband will go or someone else to help the mother. It's so expensive. The mothers here are going to be very happy to go to the hospital here, have their baby and be home in a weeks time with no cost. So that's a real big benefit for the population."

Terry Coe says the other advantage of the babies being born locally is a boost to the official birth rate of Niue.

The Minister of Health says an anthestist would also need to be found before pregnant women can deliver on the island.