Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher.
Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher. Matt Taylor GLA261118FIRE

'Unsubstantiated': MP hits back at maternity ward reports

REPORTS a woman gave birth to her baby on her own at Gladstone Hospital have been labelled as "unsubstantiated" and part of a scaremongering campaign.

Speaking out about reports that appeared in the media, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said families should not feel concerned about giving birth at Gladstone's public hospital.

Nurses Professional Association of Queensland said an "overworked" midwife at the Gladstone Hospital rushed into a ward "just in time to catch the baby".

Association assistant secretary Jack McGuire said the midwife was looking after 12 women in one shift.

But Mr Butcher said Queensland Health was unable to gain any evidence of the incident after speaking with staff.

Mr Butcher also hit-out at the association and said it had created a scaremongering campaign within regional hospitals to increase its membership.

"My daughter is due to give birth tomorrow and she is confident the work of the nurses and midwives do is world class," Mr Butcher said.

"The last thing we want to do is stop our women having babies here in the Gladstone Region."

Mr Butcher urged anyone with evidence of the matter to come forward to Queensland Health.

Yesterday Mr McGuire stood by the claim.

"Glenn Butcher's response is nothing more than a political move," Mr McGuire said.

Mr McGuire was outraged by the suggestion the association was running a scare campaign to increase membership.

"The reason we went to the media was to put pressure on Queensland Health to employ more midwives," he said.

"They should be taking this more seriously ... If he had spoken to a single nurse he would know that they are seriously under the pump."

Mr Butcher said the Queensland Government committed $1.25million for maternity unit upgrades and staffing following the closure of Gladstone Mater's obstetrics services in October.

Gladstone Hospital has 35 midwives (28.7 full-time equivalent) and 4.4 full-time equivalent neonatal nursery nurses are now being recruited.

"There's always more work that needs to be done but the $1.25million does help get the staff that we do need," Mr Butcher said.



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