I blogged in February on how the MOH tried to undermine a report showing worse outcomes for babies in midwife-led care. Rather than look at how to improve outcomes, they tried to discredit the research.
Seems this is not new. Received this e-mail from Andrea Menclova, an associate professor at Canterbury University:
My name is Andrea Menclova and I’m an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Canterbury. I was very pleased when Diana Sarfati and Ellie Wernham published their paper on the NZ lead maternity carer system. I find it appalling how they have subsequently been treated and this bullying behaviour from the College of Midwives needs to stop.
I myself wrote a paper reaching similar conclusions as Sarfati & Wernham in 2008. I presented it at a few conferences/in academic seminars. After a presentation at the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation in Sydney, my Head of Department received a letter from the College of Midwives ‘warning him’ that I do research of poor quality (with many of their points completely uninformed) and asserting that: “there is a clear agenda and conflict of interest which is not stated”. At that point, I had only been in New Zealand for less than two years and had no connections in the LMC system or the NZ healthcare system more generally, had received no funding to conduct the study and had no a-priory views on maternity care. The College of Midwives have never contacted me directly. Like Peter Crampton at Otago, my then Head of Department (Seamus Hogan) fully supported me and defended academic freedom. Still, I can very much relate to Peter Crampton’s assessment that researchers attacked so aggressively by the College of Midwives then feel “beaten up and traumatised by the experience”. That’s not okay.
Very sad that there is a pattern of abuse and attack of anyone pointing out flaws in the current system.