From 1996 women had to choose a single practitioner to manage their pregnancy. These lead maternity carers (LMCs) received a lump sum for maternity services. Midwives had to be present at all births, so general practitioners (GPs) paid for them out of the lump sum. This led to a significant reduction in the number of GPs working in maternity services, with many arguing that it was no longer financially viable. Dr William Ferguson, pictured above with a four-month-old patient in 2005, was a vocal critic of this system and stopped delivering babies the following year.
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New Zealand Herald
Photograph by Paul Estcourt
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