The Ministry of Health’s quiet apology to the New Zealand College of Midwives (NZCOM) for failing to secure adequate remuneration in Budget 2018 should have come from the Minister himself, says National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse.
“MoH and NZCOM agreed to a Co-Design process that assessed an appropriate remuneration for independent midwives in 2017, but they’re yet to see a budget allocation that reflects this.
“The cost to phase increases recommended by the Co-Design process over four years is around $55 million this year and $751 million over the next four years.
“Obtained Budget 2019 documents appear to show independent midwives have once again missed out on having their remuneration claim addressed, David Clark needs to apologise twice for this snub.
“In 2017 the previous National Government agreed to settle NZCOM’s application for judicial review alleging discrimination against midwives based on gender and kicked off the Co-design report.
“The Minister addressed a midwifery march on Parliament in May last year, telling them he was listening to their concerns. What he didn’t tell them was that he had months earlier received the report of the Co-Design group but had ignored the substantive recommendations in preparing Budget 2018.
“As part of the mediated settlement the Ministry was required to apologise for inaction in last year’s Budget. The apology should have come from the Minister himself as the Ministry are under his direction and the decision not to include increases in remuneration that reflected the Co-Design recommendations could only have come from him.
“One year being overlooked is bad enough, two years in a row is just disrespectful and won’t stop independent midwives leaving the sector in their droves. This must be remedied.”