There has been a mixed response to the Ministry of Healths latest tweaking of maternity services. Earlier this week, the ministry released its final decision to close down all 20 non S88 maternity schemes in favour of moving all providers onto the S88 notice.
The RNZCGP quickly and publicly responded with a "cautious welcome" to the news. The college feels the plan forms "the foundations of a constructive approach". It believes groups, under the new arrangement, will be able to continue to contract.
The NZMA, however has its doubts. In its Vital Signs newsletter, the NZMA voiced disappointment. It strongly supported retaining the existing contracts, as these allowed many doctors and midwives to work together collaboratively.
While details of how the new system will work are not yet known, the NZMA would be concerned if it resulted in more GPs giving up maternity care.