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College of Midwives and Primary Health Alliance Signal signal new era

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand College of Midwives has become a full voting member of the Primary Health Alliance in a move which signals a new era of inter-disciplinary collaboration for New Zealand’s primary care sector.

"The overriding focus of the Primary Health Alliance is the health of our population. Midwives have an essential role to play in our communities and they have continually failed to receive the recognition they deserve. Primary Health Alliance members believe a sector-wide inter-disciplinary partnership approach will secure the best outcomes, including for Mothers and their babies, and that is why we are delighted to welcome the College of Midwives to work alongside us and help shape our future approach to front-line patient-centred care" says Primary Health Alliance chairman, John Ayling.

The Primary Health Alliance has an increasing number of long-standing working relationships spanning the sector. Its members now include the Pharmaceutical Society, Allied Health, Heart Foundation, Health Promotion Agency and NGOs as well as a significant number of PHOs who are often serving some of the highest need and most rural communities. This move to recognise the importance of inter-disciplinary working and formalise the College of Midwives membership is expected to be widely welcomed.

Deb Pittam, President of the New Zealand College of Midwives, says, "The College is excited to be joining the Primary Health Alliance; an organisation whose members clearly see the need for an inter-disciplinary team approach and recognise the vital role that Midwives play.

"Our members are rarely acknowledged for the amazing personalised care they provide. Having this new national seat alongside primary care’s leading professionals and organisations is, we believe, a significant stepping stone towards a primary care partnership that truly values the skills, expertise and dedication of our profession."

Whangarei GP and deputy chair of the Primary Health Alliance, Dr Andrew Miller, says "For too long midwives have been unable to access the supportive organisational frameworks of their primary care colleagues or wider support across the sector. As GPs we would be unable to manage without the high quality, timely and holistic care which midwives provide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - a role they undertake without commensurate reward or recognition. It’s time for their place as one of our health systems greatest success stories to be appropriately acknowledged. It’s exciting to hear they’re joining the Primary Health Alliance".

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