Story: Primary health care

General practitioner with baby

General practitioner with baby

A law change in 1990 meant midwives could deliver babies without a doctor being present. Doctors no longer dominated maternity services. From 1996 pregnant women had to choose a single maternity carer, who received a lump-sum payment, to manage their pregnancy. Midwives had to be present at all births, but doctors did not. Doctors had to pay midwives out of the lump sum they received. Maternity care was no longer financially viable for doctors and most stopped providing this service. Dr William Ferguson, pictured, was a vocal critic of this system. He delivered his last baby in 2006.

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How to cite this page:

Michael Belgrave, 'Primary health care - Challenges to GPs, late 20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 July 2024)

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