Maternity Services Announcement welcomed but long overdue

Burnie City Council welcomes the long awaited announcement today of the consolidation of birthing services to the North West Private Hospital on the 1st of November 2016 and the introduction of coordinated ante and post-natal care services at both the Mersey Hospital and North West Regional Hospital and across the region via outreach services. This provides certainty for our communities as they adjust to this significant change in Maternity Service Provision on the Coast.

The expansion of the Midwifery Group Practice model is very good inclusion as the “Know your Midwife Program” has been a very important program in the North West ensuring continuity of care and ensuring expectant mothers are well informed and well supported.

Council also welcomes the announcement that the regional bus service connecting the two major hospital sites will commence in September. This is an absolutely critical service for patients and their families in our region.

It is now essential that the Government and Tasmanian Health Service communicate regularly with north-west communities regarding these changes. It is particularly important that individual expectant mothers, their families, and staff at all facilities are fully engaged prior to these changes taking place on the 1st of November.

The provision of a private birthing service at the NWPH is very important and it is disappointing a 12 month timeframe has been granted for the re-establishment of this service at the NWPH. This will mean women who choose to have a private birth will be continuing to travel to Launceston and Hobart for private care over the next 12 months.

Council looks forward to regular updates from the Minister for Health as these changes progress.

For further information please contact

Janine Phillips
Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
03 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728