Southlanders and Queenstowners are a fertile bunch.
There are 50% more babies born to people from Queenstown and rural Southland than Invercargill.
In the 12 months to June 2019 there were 924 babies born to mothers from rural Southland and Queenstown, compared to 627 by Invercargill mothers. Dunedin mothers had 1,095 babies over the same period.
Closer analysis also shows that women in their prime child-bearing years and children make up much higher proportions of the Queenstown and rural Southland populations than in Dunedin and Invercargill.
So why on earth did the Southern DHB pull resources from the Lumsden Maternity Centre? And why have we seen the Lakes District Hospital maternity unit in Queenstown narrowly avoid closing one evening due to understaffing?
The under resourcing of maternity services outside of the main city hospitals simply does not make sense.
The Southern DHB needs to clearly explain how it allocates maternity funding and how this funding matches where births are happening.
There are not enough midwives allocated across rural Southland and Queenstown at present.
We need midwives. In these areas they are the only health professionals providing maternity care.
As a Southern DHB board member I will advocate for more transparent evidence-based allocations of maternity funding.
We need a robust and sustainable maternity service to ensure safe and positive outcomes for local mums and babies.
Let’s make health happen.
Vote Benje Patterson for Southern DHB, Southland constituency.
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Authorised by Benje Patterson, 5 Ashenhurst Way, Lower Shotover, Queenstown.