Reproductive health, women’s health, family planning and early childhood health are areas in our health services which have undergone significant changes in the past 20 years. Over that period, there has been an increased awareness of the importance of a healthy start to life and the impact of this further on.
Health Workforce New Zealand commissioned an independent workforce service forecast (WSF) prepared by a working group, chaired by Professor Peter Stone and comprising of GPs, nurses, midwives, paediatricians, obstetricians, community service health care specialists and health consultants.
The WSF was produced to indicate how the sector should look in the future. The report contains the working group’s vision for 2025 and 18 recommendations for practical action to align with Government priorities and help improve systems of care.
The working group’s vision is to “achieve a mother, father, child and family centred system of support and care that is integrated across the life-course from preconception through pregnancy and infant/ child development and that substantially lifts child and maternal health outcomes".
Developments are needed in four key areas to carry out the working group’s vision:
- improving readiness for children
- proactive planning and action from confirmation of pregnancy
- developing safe, effective and seamless care through pregnancy, birth and infancy for all
- developing capable parents and safe environments for infant and child development.
Specific recommendations relating to each of these areas can be found in the WSF.
Further information comparing New Zealand’s maternity sector with the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Canada and the UK can be found in the Comparative Study of Maternity Systems report.
Note: This workforce service forecast has been received by Health Workforce New Zealand to generate discussion and debate around key issues in the future of reproductive health, women’s health, family planning and early childhood.