Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says the LNP is still pushing for maternity services to be returned to the Ingham Hospital, with the campaign being boosted by a recent LNP motion in the Queensland Parliament that won the support of all MPs
Mr Cripps said the success of the motion, moved by the LNP and which specifically mentioned Ingham, was a positive sign that the LNPs publicly announced plans to return maternity services to the Ingham Hospital would still go ahead.
“The former LNP Government had an outstanding record of returning maternity services to rural and regional areas, with Beaudesert and Cooktown Hospitals reopening their birthing services in March 2014 and early 2015 respectively” said Mr Cripps.
“In January this year, the then Health Minister Lawrence Springborg visited Ingham Hospital and announced that birthing services would recommence by the end of 2015, after being officially closed by the former Labor Government in 2006” he said.
Mr Cripps said this timeframe had unfortunately been put in doubt by new Labor Health Minister Cameron Dick, which created some uncertainty and disappointment for the local community, which had welcomed the announcement in January.
“Nevertheless, I believe the endorsement of the LNP’s rural maternity plan by the Queensland Parliament is a win for families in regional and rural areas of Queensland, including those who can look forward to accessing services at the Ingham Hospital”.
“Of course, everyone wants the service to recommence with all of the necessary skills and experience being available to support the expectant mother and their family and the Townsville Health and Hospital Service is working on this”.
Mr Cripps said the birthing services at the Ingham Hospital would be for low-risk pregnancies and utilise a model of care involving midwives working closely with doctors using national best practice guidelines, to ensure safe outcomes for patients.
“The return of maternity services to the Ingham Hospital will allow women between Cardwell and Rollingstone to give birth close to their home and their families and complements the ante-natal and post-natal care already being offered”.
“This was one of the key issues I campaigned on during the recent state election and I’m optimistic this important service will be restored, despite Labor’s history of withdrawing maternity services from regional and rural hospitals, including Ingham”.