Story: Pregnancy, birth and baby care

General practitioner with baby, 2005

General practitioner with baby, 2005

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
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Photograph by Paul Estcourt

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Pregnancy, birth and baby care - Childbirth, 1990s to 21st century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 December 2021)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 24 Oct 2018