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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The decision to keep the Bentley Hospital maternity unit open for at least another two years is a victory for common sense and followed months of advocacy by the Australian Medical Association (WA).
“This issue was raised continually with the Health Minister Dr Kim Hames through numerous meetings with the AMA (WA). I thank the Minister for listening to our point of view and acting on our advice,” AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said today.
“There was a lot of misinformation floating around about consolidation of Obstetric units in the Perth metropolitan area, and the review into maternity services. However to close the unit at Bentley was way too soon, and way too fast.”
“While the Obstetric unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital provides a highly professional service, it is not ready to take the significant case-load from Bentley and will not be ready for some time.
“What this decision does reflect is the difficulty attracting and retaining a high standard Midwifery workforce. Midwifery Group Practice is an inefficient way of deploying a limited cohort of trained health professionals. Women and babies enjoy the highest standards of care when Midwives, Obstetricians, Paediatricians and Anaesthetists work in teams.
“I would like to thank the Minister for his decision. However we now need assurances that any urgent repairs and upgrading of equipment necessary at the Bentley Hospital Obstetric unit are made as quickly as possible.” Dr Gannon said.
The AMA (WA) has a number of other issues related to Obstetric services in public hospitals highlighted by the recent review into maternity services conducted by Professor Con Michael. The Association intends to continue to raise the issues to improve public maternity services with Dr Hames and his successor whenever possible.