Bega Valley Regional Hospital Needs a Birth Centre with Community Midwifery Outreach Care.
Bega Valley Shire\'s maternity facility and service is sorely lacking. We would like to see improvements in both service and facility with the arrival of the new regional health facility. Unfortunately the proposed maternity facility is below par and does not include Community Midwifery Outreach program nor a birth centre attached to the hospital. Under the current proposed plan woman have to travel long distances for pre- and postnatal care, have no choice in care providers, no medicare-funded midwife care, and must labour and give birth in a hospital ward with little privacy and cannot have family members stay overnight with their new baby. Research has shown that outcomes for mothers and babies are better when women give birth attended by known midwives. Out-of-hospital (a birth centre or home) is the most appropriate place to give birth, not on a ward with sick people and strangers. A comfortable birth centre with baths to labour in and private family rooms should be a minimum requirement for an Australian public hospital and standard at any regional facility. Could we please make our new hospital a shining example of maternity services. Could we please get on par with facilities and services in other countries such as The Netherlands, the UK and New Zealand. If St George Hospital and other regional NSW hospitals can do it, why can\'t we Far South Coast women and their families demand and deserve it.