Gladstone Mater suspends maternity services
THE Gladstone Mater Hospital will close its maternity services permanently from October 1 this year.
Mercy Health and Aged Care Central Queensland announced its decision today, which chief executive officer Lynne Sheehan said had not been made lightly.
She said the service's closure was due to a declining number of births at the private hospital.
"After exhausting all of our options to keep the service open, we have made the difficult decision to close Gladstone Mater's maternity service," Ms Sheehan said.
"The number of births at Gladstone Mater has been declining for a number of years now and to run a successful maternity service you require a minimum number of births to ensure the viability of the service.
"Unfortunately we are no longer reaching that level with less than ten births a month.
"It's been a privilege to support and care for so many Gladstone families who chose to welcome their new baby at Gladstone Mater, but the continuing decline in the number of families using the service required that action be taken," Ms Sheehan said.
CQ Health Chief Executive Steve Williamson said CQ Health and Gladstone Hospital would ensure they could safely meet any increased demand.
"We have been working to assess the likely impacts of the closure of the Mater private maternity service to determine our service requirements and ensure we meet the needs of the community."
Ms Sheehan said Gladstone Mater would work closely with the community to ensure hospital services meet the changing needs of the people of Gladstone going forward.
"Throughout the whole decision-making process, we have the needs of Gladstone families at the very heart of our deliberations," Ms Sheehan said.
"All women currently booked into the Gladstone Mater maternity service, will be seen until 1 October. After that date, alternative arrangements will be made with Gladstone public hospital.
"There is no doubt that the maternity service offered at Gladstone Mater is of the highest quality and I pay tribute to our doctors and our wonderful staff for the role they have played in bringing joy to so many Gladstone families."
Ms Sheehan said that looking after the staff who worked in the Gladstone Mater maternity service would be her first priority.