A decade long campaign to return birthing services to the Ingham Hospital has been successful, with local mothers being able to deliver their babies in the Herbert River district from 1 July 2016.
Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, today announced full birthing services at the Ingham Hospital would be available from Friday 1 July 2016, after a marathon long campaign to secure the service.
Mr Cripps said ten years after the Beattie Government closed birthing services at the Ingham Hospital in 2006, he was delighted to see this important facility return to the Herbert River district.
“This was a strong, core group of dedicated local people who kept pushing for this right through the Beattie and Bligh Government years, when services were being taken away” said Mr Cripps.
“This attitude changed when Lawrence Springborg became Health Minister in the LNP Government in 2012 and we started to see health services come back to regional areas” he said.
“Birthing services were restored in Beaudesert and Cooktown and with Lawrence Springborg’s support, I was able to get the Townsville Health Service to bring birthing services back to Ingham”.
“In January 2015, then Health Minister Springborg visited the Ingham Hospital and announced birthing services would return to the Ingham Hospital – it was great news for the local community”.
Mr Cripps said since the Palaszczuk Government had been elected, there had been a delay in the commencement of birthing services at the Ingham Hospital from the end of 2015 until mid-2016.
“The local community accepted that delay on the basis the Ingham Hospital outlined the recruitment process that was underway to ensure people with the appropriate skills were in place”.
“A safe and modern birthing service is going to be available at the Ingham Hospital from this Friday and feels like a real achievement for the community in the Herbert River district to win this one”.
“I’d like to thank former Townsville Health Service Chair John Bearne and former board member Glen Cerutti for their support to get the resources in place for this project to become a reality”.
“I also thank the many people in the local community who, over the last 10 years, have helped me to keep the pressure on Queensland Health to ensure this issue never went off their radar”.
Mr Cripps offered his congratulations to the doctors, nurses and other staff at the Ingham Hospital for the professional way in which they have prepared for the recommencement of birthing services.