Mackay Base Hospital. Picture: Tony Martin
Mackay Base Hospital. Picture: Tony Martin

Mums outraged by Mackay Birth Centre plan

A DECISION to move women planning to give birth at Mackay Birth Centre to make way for COVID-19 patients has caused outrage and panic.

Alecia Staines, from the Friends of the Mackay Birth Centre committee, has slammed the decision as ­"illogical" and accused the ­hospital of picking on the "most vulnerable".

"Pregnant women are the least likely people to get coronavirus because they go out of their way to protect their ­babies and self isolate anyway, especially under the current circumstances," Ms Staines said.

"The decision to push women out of the centre has caused even more women to want to give birth on their own, away from the hospital, and there are already a high number who are afraid to go to the hospital to give birth because of COVID-19," she said.

However, a Mackay Hospital and Health Services spokeswoman said the Base hospital had to be prepared if women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 needed to give birth in Mackay, and that the health service wanted to keep everyone safe.

"All patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 must be isolated from other patients to avoid spreading the virus," the spokeswoman said.

"The Birth Centre is the best location to do this because it is a stand-alone building with its own carpark.

"We can understand Birth Centre clients may be disappointed; however, safe and supported care is provided by our midwives in the labour ward every day."

The spokeswoman said Mackay Birth Centre clients could be assured that should these changes need to be made they would be discussed individually with each client, and that they would still be supported by their known midwife in a safe environment.

"The health service has to consider the health and wellbeing of all mothers to be, not just Birth Centre clients.

"These decisions are always made with the overall community good in mind,."

The timing of this change is yet to be determined and is still in the planning phase.

"We will update the community when services return to normal."