New mothers ditch Tweed hospitals
TWEED mothers are ditching local hospitals and crossing the Queensland border to give birth because of downgraded maternity facilities in the region, according to local MP Geoff Provest.
New statistics reveal that since 2007, birth rates in Tweed and Murwillumbah hospitals have been sliding consistently.
“In 2007, there were 114 Tweed births per month, in 2008 there were 111, but in 2009 the figure has fallen to just 100,” Mr Provest said.
That is a decrease of 168 births since 2007, or 14 births a month.
Mr Provest obtained the figures as answers to a written question to New South Wales Deputy Premier and Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt last month.
“The Tweed population is growing, the nation’s fertility rate is growing, so the only explanation is that Tweed mums are voting with their feet and going to John Flynn and other Queensland hospitals,” Mr Provest said.
The Tweed MP said it shows the human impact of North Coast Area Health Service boss Chris Crawford’s cuts to local maternity wards.
“It is a sad indictment of the Labor Government’s mismanagement of our Tweed hospitals,” Mr Provest said.