Gladstone's private hospital suspends birthing services

GLADSTONE'S private hospital has temporarily suspended its maternity services due to a shortage of midwives in regional Queensland.

The decision to suspend the maternity services at Mater Hospital Gladstone was made on Monday.

A statement from chief executive Lynne Sheehan said they hope to have the service back on June 26.

"The safety of mothers and babies is a priority at the Gladstone Mater and on Monday 19th June following consultation with the Gladstone Hospital and the private doctors it was decided to suspend birthing at the Mater until a full complement midwives could be re-established in the birthing unit," she said.

Ms Sheehan said women booked to give birth during the next few days will be offered care at the Gladstone Hospital under their private doctors.

"Over recent months the Mater Gladstone has experienced difficulty in recruiting midwives, consistent with the general shortage of midwives in regional Queensland," she said.

"I am most appreciative of the support and assistance of the Gladstone Hospital Executive and staff and the Mater midwives working cooperatively during this time to ensure a safe and sustainable midwifery service."

Gladstone Banana Hospitals executive director Joanne Glover said the public hospital will be taking the private patients.

"Gladstone Hospital is equipped and willing to care for mothers and babies as required," she said.

"We are working in partnership with the Mater to ensure a good quality and safe service is available for all women in the community."

Please note: This story has been updated since it was originally published. Mater Hospital Gladstone confirmed women already booked in to give birth this week will still be delivered by their private doctor.

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