Story: Primary health care

Maternity benefits

Maternity benefits

The Labour government introduced the maternity benefits scheme in 1939. Under this scheme, women received free maternity care and doctors had free access to hospitals for deliveries. It was initially resisted by some doctors, as this newspaper clipping from April 1939 shows. 'B.M.A.' stands for British Medical Association – the New Zealand branch represented local doctors.

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Evening Post, 28 April 1939, p. 12

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Michael Belgrave, 'Primary health care - Improving access to health care, 1900s–1970s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 November 2022)

Story by Michael Belgrave, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2019