Maternity service to face pressure

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

PRESSURE is mounting on Gladstone's maternity services following the announcement that The Friendly Society Private Hospital in Bundaberg will close its maternity ward.

The hospital announced the closure would come into effect from February 13.

A hospital spokesperson said the closure was a direct result of an inability to secure sufficient midwives.

It was expected women in the Miriam Vale area who would have normally used the hospital might travel to Gladstone to have their babies.

Medical superintendent of Gladstone Hospital Dr Ian Mottarelly said he didn't think there would be any major impact to Gladstone maternity services as a result of the closure in Bundaberg.

'Our situation is fairly tight but we have got it covered,' Dr Mottarelly said.

'We are always short of midwives but we are managing.

'At the moment there are two midwives per shift.'

Dr Mottarelly said most patients who would have accessed the private hospital in Bundaberg would go to another private hospital rather than a public hospital.

'I would imagine the Mater Hospital would pick up those patients who would have normally gone to the Friendly Society Private Hospital,' he said.

'There are not big population numbers in Miriam Vale so I would expect the impact on Gladstone to be minimal if we feel it all.'

General manager of the Mater Hospital Pam Zions said there could be some impact felt by the closure.

'We are experiencing a worldwide shortage of midwives,' Ms Zions said.

'But we are managing to have a midwife on every shift.'



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