J Prim Health Care. 2013 Jun 1;5(2):151-3

Abortion services in a high-needs district: a community-based model of care

Snook S, Silva M
PO Box 22, Greytown, Wairarapa 5712, New Zealand
simon@snip.co.nz

INTRODUCTION: In 2009, a high-deprivation district health board in New Zealand set up a community-based abortion clinic in order to provide a local service and to avoid out-of-region referrals. The service offers medical abortions for women with pregnancies of up to 63 days' gestation, and surgical abortion with local anaesthetic for women with pregnancies of up to 14 weeks' gestation.

AIM: To describe the services developed and assess safety and timeliness for the first year of community-based services.

METHODS: An audit of clinical records for patients seen in 2010 was performed in order to obtain data on location of services, timeliness, safety and complications.

RESULTS: Eighty-two percent of locally provided abortions in 2010 were medical abortions, completed on average less than two days after referral to the service. One percent of patients experienced haemorrhaging post abortion, and 4% had retained products. These rates are within accepted standards for an abortion service.

DISCUSSION: This report illustrates that a community-based model of care can be both clinically and culturally safe, while providing a much-needed service to a high-needs population.