Local News at Your Fingertips

Roadside birth a reality

by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

Country Health SA closed obstetric sevices at the Millicent Hospital mid 2013. Member for McKillop Mitch Williams, former Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas, local doctors and members of the community have publicly stated on this site, they fear the wellbeing of mothers and babies has been put at risk, due to the additional distance to the Mt Gambier Hospital, patients from Robe, Beachport, Southend, Hatherleigh, Kingston and surrounding districts must now travel to birth.

According to a report by the Daily Telegraph, the people of NSW simliar concerns about a large percentage of their obstetric services being closed, have been realised with a recent roadside delivery.

The Daily Telegraph highlights the situation in the NSW; since the closure of many regional obstetric services in favour of centralisation and concerns that babies will be delivered on roadsides due to distances expectant parents must travel to reach a hospital, and the unpredictability of birth.


Information received bywattlerangenow showed a similar situation could just as easily occured with the local Millicent woman in labour recently.


Arriving at the Millicent Hospital in labour, she was instructed by staff to go to Mt Gambier to give birth. A Millicent GP Obstetrician was at the hospital at the time visiting a patient and advised against this; in his professional opinion, she would not reach Mt Gambier Hospital to birth.

From information we received, we believe the patient delivered at the Millicent Hospital 15 minutes later. Fortunately baby arrived safely at the Millicent Hospital with an obstetrician in attendance, instead of on the side of the road 15 minutes into the trip to Mt Gambier.

The Daily Telegraph article also highlights the additional expense expectant parents are experiencing; having to stay in motels closer to an obstetric service awaiting the birth, due to the closure of mnay regional obstetric services. 

A South East mother was recently advised by her doctor to stay closer to the Mt Gambier Hospital as a precaution; she stayed in a caravan park in Mt Gambier for some weeks, away from family including her small child, because the services were no available at the Penola or Millicent Hospital.

The full story from the Daily Telegraph can be viewed on the following link.