Abortion Services in New Zealand

Northland

Northland DHB

Far North District, Whangarei District, Kaipara District

Licensed institutions

Whangarei Hospital

Street Address: Hospital Road, Whangarei
Postal Address: PO Box 742, Whangarei
Phone: (09) 430 4100
Facsimile: (09) 430 4110

Services provided

Northland DHB offers a surgical TOP service for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and a medical service for fetal anomaly after that. Women requiring a second trimester termination on general grounds will be referred to one of the Auckland gynecologists for second trimester surgical procedure.

First trimester

Referral and appointments

Initially referral by the primary care doctor is to one of the certifying consultants who arrange further appointments. Women can present directly to the social workers at Northland Base Hospital for initial counselling.

Social Workers, Whangarei Base Hospital (09) 430 4101 ext 7411.

Information required from the referrer

Referral letter needs to include:

NHI number (if available)

NZ residency and personal details, including contact telephone number

Parity and gravidity, previous TOPs

LMP, pelvic exam findings

USS results (if performed)

Investigations: (HVS, chlamydia and antenatal bloods)

History and indications

Contraception: use at conception and recommended follow-up contraception.

Counselling

All women are seen for counselling either directly referred or referred on by the certifying consultants. The social worker will make the appointment for surgery which is on a Friday afternoon. They will attend on the day of the procedure to provide support. Counselling can be arranged in Kaitaia for women from the Far North if requested by ringing the social worker at Whangarei Base hospital.

Certification

The referring GP arranges consultation with certifying consultants in the community.

Cost

The service is free for eligible patients. Patients who are not eligible for public funding will be charged according to the time taken or complications. Patients should check with the hospital before the procedure.

Follow-up

Follow-up is provided by the referring doctor. Follow-up counselling is available, as above, through the social workers at Northland Base Hospital.

Second trimester - mental health grounds

Provision of second trimester abortion services for non-fetal anomaly grounds are contracted to one of the three Auckland gynaecologists.

Counselling

Women are seen by the social worker at Northland Base Hospital or this can be arranged in Kaitaia for women from the Far North. The counsellor also will arrange with the DHB for funding if the woman meets the criteria after full social worker assessment. The decision is made by the manager of surgical services. If funding is refused women will need to pay for their own TOP.

Appointments

GPs ring the waiting list clerk at (09) 430 4101 ext 7275 and will be given information about what is needed for this referral. Alternatively they may speak directly to the social worker at the number above.

As with first trimester referral, initial referral can be direct by GP to the certifying consultant or to the social worker who will arrange the appointment with the operating gynaecologist in Auckland.

Referral information as with first trimester but should include HIV and routine scan.

Procedure

The procedure is surgical dilatation and curettage and is over two days. See Auckland gynaecologists.

Follow-up

Medical follow-up is done by the referring doctor. The social workers will provide follow-up counselling if required.

Second trimester - fetal anomaly

Second trimester abortion services for fetal anomaly are provided in the Whangarei Base Hospital on referral by the Lead Maternity Carer when the investigation results showing the abnormality become available.

Referral in the first instance is to one of the obstetricians who will assess and make further arrangements.

Social worker referral is made and all women are seen if possible.

The procedure

The method used is a medical induction of labour, using mifepristone (Mifegyne®) and misoprostol (Cytotec®).

Cost

The service is free for eligible patients. The charge for non-NZ-residents should be checked before the service is accessed.

Follow-up

Follow-up is provided by the obstetricians involved.

DHB responsibilities

All District Health Boards are required to provide termination of pregnancy services "for those women who meet the criteria provided by the Crimes Act 1961 and the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977". See Ministry of Health. However they may not necessarily provide the services themselves. Accessing accurate, up-to-date and informative details about how individual District Health Boards provide these services, has been extremely difficult. The information provided here is the best that we have been able to obtain for this district to date. We will continue to update the website as we obtain further information.

Last Updated: 11 June 2009