RURAL REPORT: Friends of Theodore Maternity Services group had an invitation-only meeting with the Queensland Health Rural Maternity Services Taskforce.
RURAL REPORT: Friends of Theodore Maternity Services group had an invitation-only meeting with the Queensland Health Rural Maternity Services Taskforce. Coulton's Country

Pushing for return of maternity services for Theodore

THE Friends of Theodore Maternity Services group has held an invitation-only meeting with the Queensland Health Rural Maternity Services Taskforce to discuss re-opening the local maternity service.

The taskforce included Deputy Director-General of Queensland Health Dr John Wakefield, and the Theodore maternity group members were pleased with some positive ground made at the meeting, held last Wednesday.

A member of the maternity services group, Sarah Warner, said the taskforce group had actively listened to concerns and issues of the group about reinstating the maternity services.

"They are going to compile a report by about May and present it to Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles,” Ms Warner said.

"It's a bit of a process and that is why it is going to take some time to put together.

"There are resources here to support the maternity services and there are six midwives in Theodore who are available.”

Ms Warner said the maternity group emphasised that centralised birth services did not work and were not good for the community.

"The safety risks of travelling, health, spiritual, cultural and emotional and psychological are realistic factors to be taken into consideration” she said.

Ms Warner is a rural mother with four children and believes the maternity group's campaign for its reinstatement is strongly justified.

"There is no reason why there can't be a maternity service available that is equal to metropolitan ones.”

A spokesperson for the maternity services group who was at the meeting said it was crucial for policy makers to visit rural communities.

"Our mothers talked about increased rates of PTSD and post-natal depression and the lack of continuity of midwifery care,” the spokesperson said.

Another serious issue raised was one of cultural sensitivity for Indigenous expectant mothers.

There was a level of scepticism, however, regarding the maternity services being restored due to reports being done in the past with no action taken.

"From here we hope that the Health Minister, Steven Miles, acts on these recommendations made by the taskforce and it isn't all lip service by the State Government,” the maternity services spokesperson said.