The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately resume birthing services at Castlemaine Health whilst a review is currently undertaken.
Speaking during an adjournment debate in State Parliament this week, Ms Lovell directed her request to the Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos, seeking an immediate resumption of the services and an assurance that birthing services will operate at the hospital indefinitely.
Castlemaine Health recently announced the pausing of birthing at the hospital whilst the review into procedures, policies and processes is completed. The review is expected to commence on 5 June and take at least six weeks. Local community group Support Birthing at Castlemaine Health are strongly advocating the immediate return of birthing services whilst the review is carried out, collecting more than 1000 signatures on a petition calling for an immediate resumption of the service.
In her contribution, Ms Lovell said the decision caused great concern in the local community and had immediately impacted on three local women planning to give birth at Castlemaine Health the proceeding weekend.
Ms Lovell said while reviews of all health services were regular and appropriate, no supporting evidence had been presented to the community to justify the pausing of birthing services at Castlemaine Health.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“The sudden pausing of birthing services at Castlemaine Health during this review has the potential to send the wrong message that the service is unsafe.
“At least ten local women are facing the prospect of having to change their birthing plans because of this decision; this is added stress for expectant families during what is already an anxious time.
“The Minister needs to step in and immediately recommence the service to provide assurance to the Castlemaine and district community.”
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