Lesley Dwyer
Lesley Dwyer Contributed

Mums-to-be at Esk face losing service

PREGNANT women in Esk may have to drive to Ipswich or Toowoomba for midwife services with the future antenatal clinic under examination.

The centre is being reviewed by West Moreton Hospital and Health Service (WMHHS) because of a lack of use.

WMHHS chief executive Lesley Dwyer said the facility would be discussed in light of this.

"Demographic changes, and changes in birth rates, help determine the way in which health services are provided by the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service," she said.

"Presently attendance at Esk Hospital Antenatal Clinic is very low averaging one patient in every three scheduled visits.

"At this stage no changes to services have occurred and it is business as usual."

The antenatal service is one of the few maternity services run through the Esk hospital which does not have a maternity ward.

Closure of the antenatal clinic at the Esk Hospital would force pregnant women to drive to Ipswich or Toowoomba for the services.

Esk mother Tanja Schwarz said she had used the service when her youngest child was born.

"I had my last child through that service," she said. "It meant I didn't have to drive an hour each way to Ipswich just to have a check-up.

"For me a check-up was generally just the midwife telling me everything was all right. It's only a quick thing.

"Having the antenatal service in Esk saved a two-hour round trip to Ipswich just for that.

"At the moment the service also provides some visits after the birth as well, just checking in on the child to make sure it's all right.

"I can't imagine that still happening out here if it's based out of Ipswich now."

Ms Dwyer promised any changes to the hospital services at Esk would be made after community consultation.

"Any changes that may be necessary in the future will not take place without appropriate consultation, which is part of the process of the WMHHS future planning."



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