The TVNZ phone poll after the leaders’ debate recevied 47,000 calls and the result was: John Key 67.73% – Helen Clark 33.27%.
National has announced a $14m maternity care policy which includes:
* Fully funding Plunket Line
* Establish a voluntary bonding scheme that writes off student loan debt for graduate midwives who agree to work in hard-to-staff areas for three to five years.
* Subsidise re-training and refresher courses for GPs who have a postgraduate Diploma in Obstetrics and Medical Gynaecology (or equivalent), and who want to resume providing maternity care.
* Encourage clinical networks across regions to assist in the planning, delivery, and improvement of maternity care.
* Fund an optional meeting each trimester for at-risk mothers so they can discuss their care plan with their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) and their GP together. This is an estimated cost of $1.5 million per year.
* Work with DHBs to provide greater choice in birthing facilities, closer to home.
* Ensure mothers have the opportunity stay in birthing facilities longer to establish breastfeeding and confidence to return home.
Macdoctor posted on maternity care before this policy was announced.
National has announced its maternity care policy which includes ensuring mothers have the option of staying in birthing centres longer to establish breastfeeding and be more confident before going home.
I’m delighted with this because it’s really good policy and also because I can claim a wee bit of the credit for it.
Last year National Party members were invited to pitch a policy at regional conferences. I pitched on allowing mothers to stay in birthing centres until breastfeeding was established. It was one of four chosen from all the regions to be presented at the party’s annual conference where it was greeted with enthusiasm.
The health policy committee added it to all the others up for consideration, did the research, costing and other work needed to ensure it was practical and now here it is, one of National’s commitments if we’re in government.
The pitch I put was:
Winston Churchill said: “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.”
He didn’t specify the type, but medical science and grandma’s wisdom agree that breast is best.
The benefits range from providing antibodies which help protect the baby to reducing the risk of some cancers in women.
But breastfeeding rates in New Zealand are just 68% at six weeks and plummet to 19% at six months for Pakeha, 17-18% for Pacific women and only 13-14% for Maori.
The decision John Key and Helen Clark made to not take part in a debate with the wee party leaders was vindicated by tonight’s TVNZ debate.
It was difficult enough to hear two of them speaking at times, it would have been a complete circus if there had been anymore people talking over each other, with more heat and less light.
“I haven’t heard a single bitter note” – Helen Clark said, finishing on the definsive, immediately after a personal attack on Bill English.
John Key finished with a grin.
Barry Soper just asked John Key about the 1981 Springbok tour.
He said he was mildly supportive but wasn’t particularly interested in it.
I was in my first job on a small town newspaper and reported on the tour so was well aware of the issues; I understand the importance of the tour and its part in our history and I never supported apartheid.
But I didn’t feel strongly about the tour because at the time I had other priorites.
I take it from John’s response that he felt the same.
I also agree with him that what someone thought about something 27 years ago isn’t nearly as important as what can be done about the many issues facing us now.
I just heard someone on TVNZ say:
I’m always reluctant to criticise the police because I believe in upholding and supporting them?
Is this the same woman who left the police to go through a court case after they sped her from Waimate to Christchurch?