Appoint two obstetricians: MP

Wagga Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr.

Wagga Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr has urged Murrumbidgee Local Health District to appoint at least two resident GP obstetricians as part of the Tumut Hospital redevelopment.

Tumut has been without a GP obstetrician for more than two months, with mums-to-be travelling to Wagga to give birth. Ambulance transport is being provided when required. In November, the health service indicated there were nine women booked in to give birth at Tumut Hospital before the end of 2018, who would be redirected to Wagga Base.

“Obstetric services at Tumut Hospital are absolutely vital to the community and I have been assured MLHD is working to recruit a replacement GP obstetrician,” Dr McGirr said.

“In the meantime, midwives are continuing to provide antenatal and postnatal care, while birthing services are provided at Wagga Base.

“This situation is not ideal for the women and families of Tumut and surrounding areas, who are expecting a child, and I have urged the health district to ensure the vacant position is filled as a priority. “I would like to see the future model of obstetric services expanded to include at least two resident GP obstetricians as part of the Tumut Hospital redevelopment.”

In September, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced at least $50 million had been allocated towards a new Tumut Hospital on the existing site, and Dr McGirr said upgraded facilities will be a drawcard for practitioners looking to move to regional areas, which will build the profile of the shire and attract further doctors and services.

“I have been reassured the $50 million promise to rebuild the hospital, made during the by-election, will be delivered,” Dr McGirr said.

“The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian herself responded to my request for a re-commitment in parliament last year. I have been following its progress with keen interest and I have assured Snowy Valleys Shire residents I will be making sure this is delivered in a timely manner.”

Meanwhile Murrumbidgee Local Health District has confirmed it is continuing its efforts to recruit a new Obstetrician for Tumut Hospital.

“The General Practitioner (GP) Obstetrician in Tumut is currently unavailable to provide obstetric medical services at the Hospital, and efforts to recruit a replacement continue,” Murrumbidgee Local Health District Chief Executive Jill Ludford said.

“Despite the range of financial and training incentives offered by both Commonwealth and State Governments, attracting and recruiting specialist General Practitioners to regional facilities in general, is challenging.

“Tumut Hospital midwives already provide outstanding antenatal and postnatal care for local women and for those with uncomplicated pregnancies, an option of a midwifery led model of care is being considered.

“Birthing services continue to be provided at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital (WWBH) for women in the region and ambulance transport is available when required.

“In an emergency, pregnant women should present to the Tumut Hospital Emergency Department.”