"Antenatal care closed"

About: Sale Hospital / Women's and Children's

(as the patient),

I would very much like an explanation as to why the midwife clinic has been closed to the public? How could you do that? In a small town where there is already so little choice in terms of antenatal care. 

Being a first time mum is already confusing and scary enough, and now the women of Sale will also have the added stress of deciding whether to travel all the way to Traralgon to see a midwife. What about the people who struggle to even get an antenatal care provider in Sale, because all the Obstetricians and shared care GPs are inundated with patients because there's nowhere else to go? 

I for one am absolutely disgusted in the decision to close down the midwife clinic to the public, as I am sure many women who had their hearts set on it are; and it's not only the decision, but the fact that you're not even making it clear to people, so no one is finding out until they are turned away and left confused and unsure about what to do. In my opinion, it's shameful. 

Responses

Response from Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Central Gippsland Health We have made a change

picture of Frank Evans

Dear magpiesd57

My name is Frank Evans and I am the Chief Executive Officer and currently also the interim Director of Nursing and Clinical Support Services.

I am really sorry that you have been given the impression that we have closed our public antenatal clinic. This is certainly not the case.

In the past year we have increased access from one day per week to three days per fortnight. The clinic is targeting women with low risk pregnancies who would find it difficult to afford private specialist antenatal care.

We currently have two specialist Obstetricians and a number of General Practitioners providing private antenatal care.

We have recently appointed a new staff consultant Obstetrician who will provide additional public antenatal care and we are hoping to provide public antenatal clinics up to 3 days a week in the near future.

In the meantime if I can be of any assistance please let me know. You can contact me at frank.evans@cghs.com.au or on 0351438319

With kind regards

Frank

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Update posted by magpiesd57 (the patient)

Hi Frank,

Thank you for your quick response. If this is the case then can you please give me an explanation as to why today my referral was turned away to be admitted to the midwives clinic for antenatal care? I was told that unless I had some form of concession card or was aboriginal or Torres Strait islander that I was not able to be seen by the midwives in Sale at all.

Response from Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Central Gippsland Health

picture of Frank Evans

Dear magpiesd57

Thank you for getting back to me. I am really sorry we appear to be unable to offer you this service at the moment. In general terms the reasons relate to the issues outlined in my first response.

We have increased our public antenatal clinic to 3 days a fortnight and the clinic is currently targeting women who would find it difficult or impossible to pay for private antenatal care. To screen for ability to pay we routinely use the pension or concession card.

Despite this the number of women seeking to use our antenatal clinic is more than we can look after in 3 days per fortnight. This is why we are working, as quickly as we can, to provide more clinic days so that we can offer this service to many more women.

The service is unpinned by our social justice value, where we are working to provide access for those most in need. We are always prepared to look at individual circumstances and I am very happy to talk with you to see how we can assist you.

You can contact me at frank.evans@cghs.com.au or on 0351438319

Hoping I can help.

Frank

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