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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said the health of mothers and babies would be at risk if the Government did not take action to retain services.
“If maternity services at Narrogin are not maintained there will be no maternity wards between Armadale and Albany,” Dr Choong said.
“In the majority of cases, pregnancies are quite planned and organised to the mother and the doctor involved can sort out where delivery is going to occur.” “But this is not always the case and where there is an emergency, the lives of both mother and baby can be at risk if urgent care is needed,” he said.
Dr Choong said that the WA community needed to debate whether maternity services in regional WA were important.
“If it is determined that the maintenance of country maternity services is vital to WA, then the Government needs to do all it can to make sure regional hospitals are properly staffed and equipped. It is expensive to provide these services but it is even more expensive in terms of lives not to continue maternity services,” Dr Choong said. Often it is not just the salaries of medical professionals that are the key to employment but other issues such as time off, proper housing and the provision for families. “The AMA believes it is vital that these services continue and the Health Department needs to do all it can to maintain them for future generations,” Dr Choong said.