Centralising specialist services can be better

A shortage of specialists has resulted in a plan to move specialist maternity care from Whanganui to Palmerston North.

At the moment specialist care, such as medical inductions and epidurals, are provided at both Wanganui and Palmerston North Hospitals.

The proposed move of specialist care to Palmerston North could have a direct impact on up to 400 woman in Wanganui.

the Whanganui and MidCentral District Health Boards the change is being driven by a shortage of specialist staff.

Problems with recruiting and retaining obstetrics and gynaecology specialists at both boards has reached a level where current arrangements can’t continue without risking the safety and quality of the care.

Women having uncomplicated births won’t be affected.

This will cause an outcry in Whanganui but centralising specialist services can be better for patients, staff and budgets.

Patients get the high level care they need, staff get more collegial support, and the budget for equipment doesn’t have to cover two locations.

North Otago women have had to go to Dunedin for specialist care for years. Providing the mother and baby don’t require on-going specialist care they are able to transfer back to Oamaru soon after the birth.


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