Private health mums-to-be will keep their doctors, midwives

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>> Gladstone's private hospital suspends birthing services

>> Mum forced from public to private hospital

GLADSTONE obstetricians are reassuring women they will be treated by private doctors this week despite the temporary closure of maternity services at the Mater Hospital.

Due to a shortage of midwives and nurses the Mater Hospital Gladstone suspended its maternity services from June 19-26.

Gladstone GP Obstetrics Facebook page said women with private health care who give birth this week will be treated at Gladstone Hospital by Mater doctors and midwives.

"It is always distressing to have carefully made plans changed at the last minute," they wrote after a meeting with Mater Hospital Gladstone.

"To my knowledge this is only the second time in its 18-year history that the Mater has had to close its maternity unit for a short time.

"That is a testament to the dedicated management and midwives who have worked in what has been, and continues to be, a Queensland- wide staff recruitment challenge and midwife shortage."

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Bill Boyd said the challenge of recruiting midwives wasn't unique to Gladstone.

The Mackay-based doctor said regional centres often struggled to hire people in skilled professions, from nurses and doctors to police officers.

Dr Boyd said while it was "fairly uncommon" to see a hospital service suspended temporarily, he said the Mater had made the right decision.

"Safety is paramount for everything that we do ... the Mater has done the right thing in this instance along the lines of patient safety," he said.



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