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Free GP Visit Offered For High-Needs Pregnant Women

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

Wellington - High needs pregnant women can now get a free referral to their GP in certain regions under new "demonstration projects".

Lead maternity carers will be able to give the referrals, which midwives can attend as well.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said the initiative, now under way in Canterbury and Wairarapa, aimed to improve the support and continuity of care during pregnancy for women with high needs. "If the lead maternity carer can't attend the meeting, they will be informed of any decisions made at the meeting."

Those eligible were likely to have ongoing medical and/or mental health conditions and/or unhealthy lifestyles best managed by their GP.

The project follows a $103.5 million health funding commitment made by the Government in last year's budget for a range of maternity initiatives. The demonstration projects will run until December 2011 before a decision will be made about whether to take them nation-wide.

Mr Ryall also announced the launch of an interactive CD for health professionals developed to help raise awareness of diabetes eye screening.

"This interactive CD supports the evidence on the benefits of eye screening, and will support the training and practice of photo-screeners, ophthalmologists and optometrists," Mr Ryall said. Free copies can be obtained from the Ministry of Health website.


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