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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Funding boost for maternity services in Cairns

A FURTHER $5 million has been committed by the State Government for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service to expand its maternity services.

The additional funding comes off the back of $5 million announced last month, to guarantee birthing services in Far North Queensland will not be disrupted by the closure of maternity services at Ramsay Health Care’s Cairns Private Hospital.

Additionally, $1 million in capital investment will enable the expansion of the existing birth suites and maternity assessment area to provide additional space and capacity for around the clock assessment and management of birthing women.

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said it is important for mothers to have a choice and that this additional funding will assist in making that possible.

“We know that our Cairns Hospital maternity ward is one of the best in the state, and this will enable staff to continue delivering the incredible and safe care for mothers and their babies,” she said.

“We have already started recruiting the additional staff we need and will continue attracting more staff to grow our workforce.”

The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) has been working closely with Ramsay Health Care to safely transition maternity services for women who were planning to birth at the private hospital.

The new funding will allow the Health Service to employ 23 additional staff, including doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health, support services officers and an administration officer.

CHHHS chief executive Leena Singh said that the funding will provide additional staff across a woman’s birthing journey including in antenatal clinics, birth suites, the maternity ward and special care nursery.

“Since Ramsay Health Care announced last month that it was closing its maternity services at its Cairns Private Hospital, we have been working hard to ensure a smooth transition for birthing women to use our public hospitals,” she said.

“We have a high level of expertise in birthing as well as before and after birth care and support.  Additionally, Cairns Hospital has a Special Care Nursery for sick and premature babies.”

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Reef protection enhanced with funding boost and Celebrate Oktoberfest at Hemingway’s.

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