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Baby born roadside shows need for maternity unit

Hamish Walker - MP for Clutha-Southland

26 May 2019

Baby born roadside shows need for maternity unit

It’s a huge relief a baby born on the side of the road just outside of Lumsden is healthy with both baby and mother doing well, but this wouldn’t have happened if the Government hadn’t cut maternity services in the town, MP for Clutha-Southland Hamish Walker says.

“National has repeatedly said downgrading services in Lumsden would result in a child being born on the side of the road while travelling to Invercargill. We don’t like to be proven right in these circumstances. Luckily the outcome is positive for both baby and mum, but the next time this happens it might not be the case.

“Only three weeks ago I wrote to the Minister advising him the maternity hubs the Government had promised were not up and running, but he refused to listen.

“The Government needs to urgently get the equipment the DHB said it would supply, and listen to the community and reinstate full maternity services in Lumsden.

“The community and I have raised this issue time and time again with the Government. The Minister has repeatedly said this is an operational matter, but where the health of mothers and babies are concerned, he needs to act.

“It’s clear today the Government’s decision to cut services at Lumsden has put Clutha-Southland mothers and babies at risk. This is unacceptable, especially as it is completely avoidable if the centre could simple retain its full services.

“Providing full birthing services at Lumsden is vital for the health, wellbeing and safety of mothers, babies and their families. National is committed to reinstating Lumsden as a full birthing unit should we be re-elected in 2020.”

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