Greens Enquiry into Healthcare

Greens Enquiry into Healthcare

Regional Queensland Maternity Services in Crisis for over 330 days

The Gladstone Hospital maternity service has been on bypass for over 330 days, forcing many women to travel away from their homes and support networks to give birth in another city. In recent affairs, Greens Senator Penny Allman-Payne has spoken about the underlying issues regarding Regional Queensland Maternity Services Crisis, with a written letter addressed to the newly appointed Shannon Fentiman who is the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Mental Health, and Women. The letter details the importance of ensuring a bypass of this magnitude never occurs again.

“We write to you today in your capacity as the newly appointed Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Mental Health, and Women, to stress the importance of your immediate intervention in the ongoing maternity crisis in Gladstone, Biloela, and across regional Queensland,” wrote Senator Penny Allman-Payne.

“Right across regional Queensland, maternity services are in crisis. This situation is simply unacceptable and needs to be rectified now.

“With June 30 now six weeks away, there is an expectation from people in Gladstone that maternity services will soon be restored in full. We request that you provide a full update on your progress towards this goal and commit to a date when this’ll happen. We also ask for information on the plans you are putting in place to ensure a bypass never happens again.

“All Queenslanders deserve world – class public services. We implore you to take the regional health crisis seriously,” urged Senator Allman-Payne.

The Greens announced their recommendations to improve birth experiences and outcomes for pregnant people, which is supported by the Senate Inquiry Report on Reproductive Healthcare.

Key recommendations:

  • Ensuring all public hospitals are equipped to provide surgical abortion or have referral pathways to other affordable local providers.
  • A national hotline to provide a single touchpoint for people to find the abortion, contraception, or pregnancy advice service they need.
  • Reviewing Medicare rebates for medical terminations.
  • Continuing telehealth appointments for sexual and reproductive healthcare.
  • Removing barriers for registered midwives, nurse practitioners, and Aboriginal Health Workers prescribing medical abortions.
  • Ensuring training for doctors, nurses and midwives includes inclusive sexual and reproductive healthcare.
  • Ensuring maternity care services, including birthing services, are available at all public hospitals – including in rural and regional areas.
  • Making IVF for altruistic surrogacy arrangements more affordable, including for same sex parents.
  • Free contraception and period products.

Gladstone News is dedicated to keeping everyone in the community informed about the ongoing maternity ward crisis, as we believe that all families in regional Australia should have equal access to maternity care.

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