Guest blogger, Summer-Lee Faria, has agreed to keep us posted on what’s going on with the midwives in her home state of Hawai’i. Here is her first report:
A friend of mine and I hear about this rally on Hawai`i island to protest the proposal to cut staff from 3 full time CNMs, 1 per diem CNM, and 3 OBs down to
1 CNM and 2 Ob’s. Last year the hospital had 680 births, and they want to cut it down to 300. According to news sources, they claim the Medicaid reimbursements slow processing is partly to blame and that the hospital lost about 1 million dollars last year.
We fly from O`ahu to Hawai`i the morning of the rally, the desire to save any midwives threatened to be let go from any hospital in the state gets us going. The North Hawai`i Community Hospital has been the gem of the island since integrating midwifery care into their system, with parents/pregnant women driving sometimes hundreds of miles just to get the ‘women-centered’ care they desire that can be covered by their insurance.
There were about 2 dozen women, men and children gathered on the lawn, the
sun was shining and the wind was blowing the chilly air; typical Waimea weather. When we arrive, the signs saying, “Where’s My Midwife” and “More Midwives Not Less” are greeted with tons of honks, waves and “shakas” from passersby. A few motorists stopped in the parking lot to ask what was going on and 2 media crews came and did interviews. There were laughs and talks about each others families going on the hour or so we were there waving our signs of support.
After our visit with our sisters there, we got inspired to start a rally on O`ahu at the State Capitol this Thursday, to show support for the midwives at NHCH, raise awareness that the Midwives Model of Care is essential to women’s well being and should only be increased and never decreased.
Stay tuned for an update from our sisters in Hawai’i!