Health Minister Springborg says he’ll back birthing services
LAWRENCE Springborg is committed to taking care of Emerald mums.
The Health Minister was in Emerald on Tuesday to open the new Ozcare building, and visited the Emerald Hospital to discuss the Midwifery Continuity of Care Model with the Midwifery Group Practice midwives and the local mums who experience it.
He congratulated the midwives working under pressure to support local mums through the model which is at capacity.
Emerald mum Tish Ryder, who took advantage of the valuable model with the MGP, and is the branch founder for the CH Maternity Coalition, put questions to the Minister.
"He's a big advocate for continuity of care. He said women want it, it's staying and he's very vocal in telling everyone," Mrs Ryder said.
"He walks the walk, doesn't just talk the talk."
Since the Parent Education Support Group was dumped from the hospital in early May, mums have had to find antenatal and postnatal support elsewhere.
Mrs Ryder said now she saw the support beaming down from the top, she hoped the service recommenced, more midwives were employed and a proactive approach was taken.
"We lost that and our group (Maternity Coalition and Emerald Mum's BaB) has taken that up, but I feel pretty positive we can get that service reinstated, and that might be through a partnership," she said.
"Having talked to the nurse that ran those classes for about 30 years, I was told it has been lost and started again many times over."
Mrs Ryder said the situation needed to be sorted out at a district level.
"It was really good to be able to speak with the Charles Ware, the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board's chairman, about what's going to happen in the future," she said.
"It's about engaging with them, which we're going to be able to do now, because in the last week I've become a consumer representative on the board." Mrs Ryder has no doubt the continuity of care model will continue.
She said she is "very confident" the model, which is offered through the Midwifery Group Practice, is not in jeopardy anymore, especially since the minister's visit.
"We're on the map now with him, he knows we're here and we have it running and that we need it. The only issue is that we're limited with the midwives being booked up," Mrs Ryder said.
"If you're having a baby between now and December, you can't access that model.
"We want to see more midwives recruited to that group to increase its capacity."
With the continuity of care not in jeopardy, and the hope for it to be revived, Mrs Ryder said she made it clear to Mr Springborg antenatal and postnatal support was declining in Emerald.
Two weeks ago it was announced rural and remote health services would be boosted across Queensland under the Rural and Remote Framework which would advocate for birthing to return to the bush and reintroducing other lost health services.
"They are doing a baseline audit of all the services existing in Queensland hospitals and they're not going to cut any more services," Mrs Ryder said.
"They're at a point now where they can start building on those services.
"He (Mr Springborg) really wants to get birthing services back in the bush."