Greens urge minister to reopen Murwillumbah birthing service

MEDIA RELEASE – 19 June 2015

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has written to Health Minister Jillian Skinner urging her to intervene to reopen the Murwillumbah Hospital birthing services as soon as possible, saying Tweed Valley Mums and babies deserve this important service.  He will also raise the issue when Parliament resumes next week.

“Yesterday I wrote to Minister Skinner expressing my concern about the closure of the Murwillumbah Hospital birthing service and urging her to step in to ensure it re-opens as soon as possible,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“I will also be raising the issue in parliament to ensure it is well and truly on the government’s political radar.

“The requirement for mothers in labour to drive an extra half hour or more through cane fields to Tweed Hospital for birthing services has put a significant stress on the community and is a significant reduction in a very important health service.

“I acknowledge that there may be some difficulties in recruiting suitable medical staff for the service, but there seems to be some bureaucratic barriers to reopen the service that the Minister should put her attention to dismantling to get the service back up and running post haste.

“The Greens are also concerned that the review of the maternity and birthing unit may lead to a permanent downgrade of this important service.  I am urging Minister Skinner to meet with the ‘Friends of Tweed Valley Birthing Service’ as soon as possible and work to resolve the issue in a way that is satisfactory for the mothers and future babies of the Tweed Valley.

“As health spokesperson I’m proud to stand with the Tweed Valley community and local Greens representatives, Dawn Walker and Adam Guise in the campaign to retain this vital health service.

“We should be able to provide local birthing services in significant regional centres such as Murwillumbah, for what is such an important event for mothers, fathers and babies.”

 Read the letter to Minister Skinner here

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