Ensuring sustainable midwifery services in Northern Southland
31st July 2019
Dr Liz Craig, Labour List MP
“It’s absolutely essential that Northern Southland women have access to high quality maternity services” said
Invercargill based Labour MP Liz Craig “and I share the local community’s concerns that Lumsden’s primary birthing unit
was downgraded before the promised Maternal and Child Hubs in Te Anau and Lumsden were fully operational”.
“Today Michael Woodhouse requested a Health Select Committee Inquiry into the decision to downgrade Lumsden from a
Primary Birthing Unit to a Hub. Labour members voted against this as an inquiry would have taken too long and we believe
the situation needs to be resolved now. Also our concerns were not around the Southern DHB’s model of maternity care as
proposed, which puts new Maternal and Child Hubs into Te Anau and Wanaka, where urgent birth facilities were not
previously available. Rather they were around implementation, where we share many of the local community’s concerns
about the appropriate equipment and facilities at Te Anau and Lumsden not being available on time and the need for
backup midwifery cover for urgent births”.
“Over the past few weeks I’ve been speaking to both Minister Clark and the Southern DHB about the need for additional
midwifery cover for urgent births in Northern Southland, and am pleased to see that that this will now be provided. I
also welcome the review into the implementation of Southern DHB’s model of care and would expect that at minimum, this
would ensure the appropriate equipment is available at Lumsden and Te Anau and that midwifery cover is available at all
times for urgent births”.