Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Safety Key to Change in Birthing Services

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Safety Key to Change in Birthing Services

Article excerpt

Tracey Blandon, Angie Gittus and Cherie Austin with Minister for Health Jillian Skinner (middle) at the Murwillumbah Hospital.

I AM concerned the community isn't receiving the facts around the decision to change birthing arrangements at Murwillumbah Hospital.

After the retirement of the local on-call specialist, only antenatal, postnatal and elective caesarean sections will be undertaken at Murwillumbah and all other birthing services will move to Tweed Hospital.

The absolute key priority is safety. The change to the birthing unit was made with the wellbeing of mothers and their babies in mind - nothing else. The accepted standard is that specialist obstetricians, midwives, paediatricians and anaesthetists must be on call and not further than 30 minutes away for a full maternity unit to function safely.

Contrary to claims by Labor and the Greens, politics was not involved.

I am assured the process to fill the empty neonatal specialist positions was long and extensive and included the provision to increase the skills of existing staff. …

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