The decision on the provision of maternity services in Central Otago will be made soon, according to the Southland District Health Board (SDHB) committee.
Public consultation on where to place maternity services in the region stalled with the onset of COVID-19, and because of ongoing public complaints.
The Board is considering four options — a single new facility in Cromwell, a single new facility at Dunstan Hospital in Clyde, two facilities — at Charlotte Jean Maternity Hospital in Alexandra and a new facility in Wānaka — or relocating Charlotte Jean to Dunstan Hospital and building a new facility in Wānaka.
There has been significant interest in the issue from the Wānaka community. Concerns raised included the availability of midwives twenty-four hours a day, access to transport such as helicopters and ambulances, equity of access and population growth.
The recommendation to the Board would be based on that feedback. The SDHB’s needs to meet Ministry of Health requirements of safety and quality of service, workforce availability, sustainability and affordability.