URGENT INTERVENTION NEEDED TO SAVE OBSTETRICS IN THE REGION

URGENT INTERVENTION NEEDED TO SAVE OBSTETRICS IN THE REGION

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has called on the State Government to urgently intervene to save obstetric services in the region.

Thursday, 30 November 2023

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has placed a motion on the notice paper in State Parliament today, calling on the Government to save obstetric services in the Inverell, Glen Innes and Armidale Hospitals, before it’s too late.

Mr Marshall said that women across the Northern Tablelands were regularly forced to travel more than 200 kilometres from their homes to access obstetric services and to have their babies.

“There is an almost complete and regular absence of obstetric services in the Inverell, Glen Innes and Armidale Hospitals,” Mr Marshall said.

“It’s clear this situation is getting increasingly worse – it is alarming and disturbing to think that basic healthcare for pregnant women and expectant mothers is so lacking.

“This means that often, especially on weekends, expecting women and their families have no option other than driving to Tamworth – this is not good enough and is downright dangerous.

“The Ministry for Health and the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have failed to address this issue and have been silent on solutions to the crisis.

“They both try to flick pass the responsibility to the local health district, but this issue is firmly one they have a responsibility to help resolve.

“I am urging the Government to come up with a comprehensive training and workforce plan as an urgent and immediate priority. Unless someone stands up and takes responsibility for fixing this, things will continue to get worse.

“We need to have measures in place to ensure at least one location in the region has obstetrics cover.

“The birth of a child is one of the most exciting and proud moments for parents and it’s a reasonable expectation for mums to be able to give birth at their local hospital, as their mothers have before them.”

Mr Marshall said around 600 babies were born, on average, each year across the Northern Tablelands and it was extraordinary to think there is very limited obstetrics cover.

“We need urgent intervention to give expecting mums in our region the comfort and assurance that they can bring their newborns into this world safely and close to home.”

Mr Marshall’s motion in State Parliament today:

That this House:

1. Notes the almost complete and regular absence of obstetric services in the Inverell, Glen Innes and Armidale Hospitals;
2. Further notes that this forces many women in the Northern Tablelands to travel distances more than 200 kilometres from their homes to access these services and have their babies;
3. Acknowledges the failure of the NSW Ministry of Health and the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to address this issue sooner, with a comprehensive training and workforce plan and their silence on solutions to this crisis;
4. Calls on the NSW Government to urgently intervene to save obstetric services in the Northern Tablelands, before it disappears for good.

Hon. Adam Marshall MP
Member for Northern Tablelands
30 November 2023

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