Central Otago maternity services no closer to delivery

Jacqui Dean is stunned to discover the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) is now even further from providing a much-needed maternity hub for Central Otago families | SDHB

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said after months of delays she was stunned to discover the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) was now even further from providing a much-needed maternity hub for Central Otago families.

At a board meeting two weeks ago, it was revealed the SDHB, which had originally agreed on the Gordon Road site, was now looking into different locations for the maternity hub.

“I am completely mystified at the lack of urgency the DHB is showing in getting this service up in running, now focusing on the building instead of the care which is so desperately needed for all the young mothers in the area.

“To me this shows a complete disregard to the safety risk these families are being put through due to a lack of adequate maternity services.”

Dean said she is also concerned that the focus seemed to have shifted from the long-awaited results from the Maternity Services review, which was crucial in discovering the type of care needed throughout the region.

“Frustratingly it appears the SDHB hasn’t even confirmed or outlined the type of care their “maternity hub” will provide, and instead have lost focus taking up energy sourcing locations when they already had settled on a site fit for purpose.

“The newly proposed locations will be announced at the end of the month, followed by a consultation period in August - with those dates in mind I have little confidence Upper Clutha families will be seeing anything in the way of maternity services before the end of the year.

“My thoughts go out to all the young mums right now tearing their hair out at the bureaucracy which is slowing down the development of a much-needed service and an SDHB which seems more focussed on keeping up appearances than providing them with critical maternity services.”

Read edition 979 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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