The Weipa Integrated Health Service has launched a Midwifery Group Practice in preparation for the new birthing service due to open later in the year.
Minister for Health, Yvette D’Ath said three new midwives were already in place at Weipa, with recruitment under way for a fourth.
“This new service will see pregnant women assigned a known midwife to support them throughout the antenatal, birthing and postnatal period of their pregnancy journey,” Ms D’Ath said.
She said recruitment was also under way for an Advanced Indigenous Health Worker to join the group practice early this year, with a second Advanced Health Worker to come on board later in the year.
“The midwifery staff are also supported by a clinical team of Allied Health professionals, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and General Practitioners with specialist training in obstetrics,” Ms D’Ath said.
Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui said construction and fit-out of the birthing suite at the Weipa Integrated Health Service was due to be completed by July, with the first births expected by August.
“The Weipa Midwifery Group Practice has more than 70 pregnant women within its initial catchment area who are currently at various stages of pregnancy,’’ Ms Lui said.
“About 60 per cent of these women have been identified as having pregnancies that make them suitable to give birth at the Weipa birthing unit, which will provide a low-risk birthing service,” she said.
Ms D’Ath said the birthing unit would mean a significant number of pregnant women in the surrounding communities would not have to travel to Cairns to have their babies.