Relief for Thousands of Women with Birth Injuries

A leading pelvic floor specialist is delighted that thousands of women will be eligible for ACC to cover birth injuries when the legislation changes next year.

Dr Melissa Davidson, New Zealand’s only specialist physiotherapist in pelvic health and a member of Physiotherapy New Zealand, says it’s been frustrating and is extremely unfair that thousands of women have had their lives severely restricted because of the inequities in the ACC scheme.

“The government announcement this week to amend the legislation to cover obstetric injuries will come as a huge relief to the thousands of women who have been suffering needlessly. Physiotherapy can restore function in many cases, but without ACC funding, for many women, it’s unaffordable.

“Extending the ACC scheme to cover obstetric injuries will significantly improve the quality of life for women and improve basic functions that many of us take for granted. These injuries have a major impact on the whole family and I’m delighted that at last, it is going to be easier to get treatment without payment being a barrier,” says Dr Davidson.

Physiotherapy New Zealand chief executive, Sandra Kirby says research shows that women do not always prioritise their own health and needs after the birth of a child, especially in instances when money is tight and there are other children to look after.

“We are looking forward to talking to the select committee about the changes to ensure we get the best possible legislation including ensuring it covers women currently experiencing these conditions as well as in the future.”