Rebecca Hill and Joshua Chalk with baby Violett Ann-maree Chalk, born January 27.
Rebecca Hill and Joshua Chalk with baby Violett Ann-maree Chalk, born January 27. Contributed

CQ Mums forced to travel hours to Rocky to give birth

THE BILOELA Hospital will not be delivering any babies until Monday, July 3.

In a statement released by the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, it was announced birthing services had been restricted since last Wednesday, June 21.

This has meant a period of 13 days women have not been able to give birth at the local hospital.

CQHHS chief executive Steve Williamson said the restriction of services was due a shortage of qualified staff.

"It is extremely difficult to recruit permanent doctors to rural areas right across Australia," Mr Williamson said.

"We need to ensure the safety of women and babies.

"During this period we are searching for suitable locum doctors to cover and recruitment is ongoing for permanent staff."

The hospital advises they have contacted all expecting mothers who will be affected.

"They have been advised to come to Biloela Hospital if they have signs of labour or any concerns where they will be assessed by experienced midwives and doctors with general skills," Mr Williamson said.

"These clinicians can liaise with specialists in Rockhampton or Gladstone and advise the best course of action, whether that be an ambulance transfer with a midwife on-board.

Biloela mother Rebecca Hill had to go to Rockhampton during her pregnancy.

When Rebecca was 36 weeks and six days pregnant, she went into early labour.

"I ended up going to Rocky because the Biloela hospital can't deliver any time before 37 weeks," Rebecca said.

While Rebecca didn't end up giving birth in Rockhampton, she said having to travel there was hard.

"When I was told I had to go to Rocky I thought, am I even going to make it there," she said.

A few weeks later, on January 27, Rebecca gave birth to a healthy baby girl in Biloela hospital.

"I am glad I could stay in Biloela at the time, mine was a quick labour," Rebecca said.

Overall, Rebecca's experience throughout the rest of her pregnancy and in giving birth at Biloela was very positive.

"They were really good, everything was on time and they were always there when you needed them," she said.

The idea of not being able to give birth in Biloela is ridiculous in Rebecca's eyes.

"I was talking to a mum who is due next week and she is not happy at all," Rebecca said. "If I was due any time soon now, I wouldn't be happy with it."