Mums-to-be cross border for birth

THE success of Tweed Hospital in maternity services has spurred Queenslanders into crossing the border to have babies.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford said the service has expanded due to the almost overwhelming demand from Queensland's expecting mums.

“When you get mums voting with their feet and coming to Tweed Hospital it's a real reflection on the quality of the staff and care,” Mr Crawford said.

“Pregnancy is not an emergency.

“They get up to nine months to think about where they will have babies.”

Mr Crawford said about 53 per cent of women giving birth at Tweed Hospital were from Queensland, but it was down slightly from previous highs of almost 60 per cent.

“There is no maternity service at Robina Hospital, Gold Coast Hospital is busy, and Southport is just too far for people to go,” he said.

Such is the demand for the service Tweed Hospital has built an additional delivery ward and increased the number of midwives.

“We have one midwife on staff that provides follow-up care for our Queensland patients,” Mr Crawford said.

He said the additional numbers were putting pressure on the service, so much so the hospital was working on a Critical Health Plan to identify what areas needed additional resources.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the number of births at Tweed Hospital was a reflection of the service.

“At 1400 a year, I would definitely say the hospital's in the top 10 for the state,” Mr Provest said.

“But six birthing units at the hospital are not enough, and I think it is unacceptable if mothers need to give birth in general wards.”

Mr Provest said the maternity industry was growing across the region and he mentioned the Southern Cross University's midwifery program as a stand-out.



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