HEALTH Minister Steven Miles has confirmed the taskforce set up to investigate the state’s rural birthing crisis will definitely visit Theodore, where the community is relentlessly fighting to have their maternity unit reopened.
HEALTH Minister Steven Miles has confirmed the taskforce set up to investigate the state’s rural birthing crisis will definitely visit Theodore, where the community is relentlessly fighting to have their maternity unit reopened.

Taskforce to probe Theodore birth crisis

HEALTH Minister Steven Miles has confirmed the taskforce set up to investigate the state's rural birthing crisis will definitely visit Theodore, where the community is relentlessly fighting to have their maternity unit reopened.

 

The decision follows The Sunday Mail's story last week highlighting that Dr Miles could not commit to the Friends of Theodore Maternity Services lobby group's request to hold a Rural Maternity Taskforce summit in the central Queensland town.

"We are delighted that the minister has put some thought into this. We need the taskforce on the ground here," group member Brian Hanna said.

"That is the only way they can see where we are geographically and the problems we face.

 

Protest rally held by local residents at Theodore over the closure of the Birthing Unit at Theodore Hospital.
Protest rally held by local residents at Theodore over the closure of the Birthing Unit at Theodore Hospital.

 

"Decisions are being made to manage risk to Queensland Health, but the decisionmakers must understand that they need to manage the risks to the mothers and babies who are being forced to travel in often precarious situations."

In an email to a husband-and-wife team who support the group, Dr Miles said he had "requested that the taskforce visit Theodore in order to hear directly from members of the Theodore community in the course of its considerations".

 

Mrs Ellen Nichols with baby Zachary Noel Curtis (15 weeks). Zachary was delivered in the family car by his grandmother on the way to hospital on 18th April of this year.
Mrs Ellen Nichols with baby Zachary Noel Curtis (15 weeks). Zachary was delivered in the family car by his grandmother on the way to hospital on 18th April of this year.

 

"I expect this … will be arranged for early in 2019," he said.

The taskforce was set up after a report by The Sunday Mail highlighting risks to babies and mothers in towns where maternity units had closed.



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