Sustainable midwifery: Supporting improved wellbeing and greater equity

Community health health impacts Healthcare staff Midwifery Pregnancy New Zealand

New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) was commissioned to investigate the contribution of midwifery to improving health outcomes.

Pay and conditions were not the main focus of the project, but this emerged as an underlying factor in the sustainability of improving perinatal health outcomes.The workforce faces challenges from increasing medical and social complexities, which are demanding more time per pregnancy than is allowed under section 88 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000. 

Studies have shown that, for low-risk pregnancies, midwifery can reduce the risk of interventions such as caesarean section, contributing to better health outcomes and health system savings. Adequate training, resources and integration are critical in achieving those outcomes. 

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