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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New Zealand Herald
Photograph by Paul Estcourt
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