NOT HAPPY: Alecia Staines with her daughter Hermiony is not giving up the fight to have a maternity facility reinstated at Nambour General Hospital.
NOT HAPPY: Alecia Staines with her daughter Hermiony is not giving up the fight to have a maternity facility reinstated at Nambour General Hospital. John McCutcheon

'Completely out of touch': Maternity advocate's outrage

A DECISION to strip maternity services from the Nambour Hospital is "completely out of touch" and detrimental to the community, mothers and their babies.

This is Maternity Consumer Network director Alecia Staines' position after news birthing facilities are not part of a State-funded $86 million redevelopment, due to start at the hinterland facility early next year.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services CEO Naomi Dwyer said despite community sentiment, they would not to duplicate services available "half-an-hour away" at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

The news came directly after mother Aimee Rogers told media at a separate engagement she gave birth on the side of the Bruce Hwy, Tanawha before she made it to the Birtinya-based hospital.

Ms Staines expects roadside births to become more common as women from as far as Gympie will be forced to travel about 100km.

She said the decision also "lacks foresight" considering Nambour's affordable housing attracts young families, and similarly Caloundra's population growth would increase pressure on SCUH's facilities.

Ms Staines garnered 1500 signatures on a petition to reinstate materniaty about five years ago, and reignited the call earlier this year.

"If we lose it, it will be so much harder to get it back," she said. "Now is the time while they are doing renovations."

She has vowed to continue the push and has already talked with doctors associations, met with local general practitioners and obstetricians who she said shared her view birthing facilities benefited an entire community.

She argued the Nambour Hospital catchment extends to tens-of-thousands of people in the local, Noosa and Gympie districts, but said other Queensland towns with less than 100 births a year would be better serviced.



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