7 Feb 2013

Push for more Pacific midwives

9:53 pm on 7 February 2013

The College of Midwives is backing calls to increase the number of Pacific midwives in south Auckland.

Pacific health workers say it should be a top priority of a review of maternity services to reduce the high rate of perinatal deaths, especially among Pacific babies.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board says it wants to recruit more Pacific midwives, and is looking at ways to support their training.

But College of Midwives' chief executive, Karen Guilliland, says the real struggle is to keep Pacific midwives in the workforce.

She says the demands are intense, and Counties Manuakau DHB needs to make their jobs more attractive.

Ms Guilliland says a good step would be to encourage more self-employed midwives offering the community-based service that Pacific women prefer.