$1.14M plan to restore vital maternity services at Theodore
VITAL maternity services will be restored at Theodore Hospital if the LNP wins the Queensland Election later this month, the party has pledged.
In June 2018, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service made the decision to close maternity services in the Central Queensland town, sparking outrage in the community.
More than two years later, the LNP has today revealed plans to restore local maternity services at Theodore hospital, as well as at Chinchilla hospital.
The move would involve trialling 'on-demand' birthing services for an initial 12 months.
The plan is based on a similar model that has operated out of Goondiwindi and would be implemented through a co-ordinated clinical team by CQHHS and Darling Downs Hospital and Health Services.
Hospital planning at a local level allows the clinical team (rural generalist and nurse/midwife) to scale up clinical resources when they know they have a scheduled birth.
The trial will involve a local team of additional registered nurses / midwives. It includes upskilling existing staff, a shared rural generalist and local incentives to recruit and retain staff.
It will cost $1.14 million for the first 12 months and utilise a midwifery continuity of care model. If successful, the program could be rolled out to restore other maternity services in regional places like Mossman as well.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said it was important regional families were offered the chance to have better local health services in their community.
"I was born in a regional hospital and I understand how crucial maternity services are to families," Ms Frecklington said.
"Providing better regional health services closer to home is not only good for local families but encourages more people to live in rural and regional Queensland.
"The LNP's plan will offer local birthing services to low-risk pregnancies that can be safely undertaken at the Chinchilla and Theodore Hospitals.
"It will help local mums have their babies as close to home as they can. Mums in the bush deserve the same healthcare as mums in Brisbane.
The LNP's plan for Chinchilla and Theodore is based on a similar model that has operated out of Goondiwindi. It will be implemented through a co-ordinated clinical team by Darling Downs and Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services.
Callide MP Colin Boyce said the restoration of maternity services at Chinchilla and Theodore was important for local communities.