CAIRNS Hospital’s purpose-built maternity assessment centre is now open with six new assessment and treatment beds in the women’s health unit.
The $1 million fast-tracked upgrade of the maternity unit is in addition to the Queensland Government’s $10 million investment in boosting maternity services at the hospital.
This funding allows the Health Service to employ 23 additional staff, including doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health, support services officers and an administration officer.
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service chief executive Leena Singh said pregnant women and staff had welcomed the new purpose-built rooms for maternity assessments and treatments.
“These improvements will expand our capacity and be available for all women birthing in the public system,” she said.
“With the cessation of Ramsay Healthcare Cairns Private Hospital birthing service, our Health Service will now provide close to 97 per cent of all births for the Far North region.
“Most pregnant women have already opted to birth at Cairns Hospital or one of our regional hospitals following the closure of maternity services at Cairns Private Hospital on 31 October.”
Cairns Hospital Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr Samantha Scherman said services in the existing Day Pregnancy Unit will transition across to the Maternity Assessment Centre this week.
“The new Maternity Assessment Centre is a significant improvement with new model of care offering extended hours 7am – 9.30pm seven days a week with dedicated staffing of midwives and obstetricians,” she said.
“The centre is a dedicated space where women with known complex pregnancies or non-routine pregnancy related concerns or issues can present for assessment and care.
“Currently, we use existing birth suites for some of these assessments, so the new Maternity Assessment Centre will provide a more appropriate and discreet setting, as well as freeing up additional birth suites to meet demand.
“The safety of mothers and babies is our highest priority.”