Kia ora Catherine!
1. Advocacy for retention of and appropriate location and funding for primary maternity units. 2. Advocacy for better rural access to diagnostic services such as ultrasound and lab tests 3. Increased visibility of rural midwifery services by 'encouraging' DHBs to take responsibility for rural maternity services, which are an essential primary health care service. There is a tendency for DHBs to take a siloed approach and not include rural midwifery or maternity services in their wider health service planning
4. And an updated funding model for primary midwifery services which accommodates rurality
5. Bonding / financial support for rural women to become rural midwives
The scope of activity which occurs within a rural primary maternity unit is far greater than the scope of activity that occurs in an urban primary maternity unit and the funding model doesn't accommodate this well.
Cost for co-location with general practice can be a barrier as the rental can be beyond what rural midwives can afford
Is there a directory of rural midwives so we can connect?
There is a website findyourmidwife.co.nz which where midwives can choose to list each their services, and there are filters (including by locality) which would enable you to narrow down the midwives by locality
www.midwife.org.nz College of Midwives website which has our regional chairperson contact details, who can connect you to rural midwives locally
The move to virtual care over Covid has had some advantages for rural women - this could be retained and reduce some of the access barriers for these services in rural communities
Thanks for the opportunity and for your support RWNZ!