A health CEO has put out the call to regional women to consider giving birth to their babies at North Eastern Community Hospital.
Michele Smith’s request follows state regional hospitals that do not provide birthing units.
This includes Tanunda Hospital which from March 5, 2018, closed its obstetrics services to expecting mothers from the Barossa and surrounding regions.
This means birthing services ‘only’ no longer operate from Tanunda Hospital.
Mothers-to-be are now required to have Kapunda Hospital, Gawler Health Service or city based hospitals to deliver their babies.
Ms Smith, new to the role as CEO, shared how another alternative was available.
She explained that privately insured country women and uninsured women seeking a private hospital may prefer a small, family-friendly community hospital such as North Eastern at Campbelltown.
"We are blessed in South Australia with high quality public and private hospitals of all sizes,” she said.
“However, country mums may prefer to have their babies at a smaller community hospital in a family-friendly environment, rather than at one of the major public hospitals.
“In many ways our hospital operates much like a country hospital, in that we are strongly connected to our local community and our staff really get to know our patients.”
Ms Smith has extensive experience in country health, serving as Eyre Far North regional director with Country Health SA for 11 years.
To date, about 500 babies are born each year at North Eastern Community Hospital compared to thousands of babies each year at the large metropolitan hospitals, which Ms Smith says allows North Eastern to provide mums with a very personal experience in a caring environment.
“We really try to create a home away from home for country mums, with family accommodation available on site adjacent the hospital,” she added.
The call also comes as a newly refurbished nursery for new born babies has been unveiled at North Eastern Community Hospital.
The $77,000 makeover was undertaken to modernise the existing space and improve comfort and functionality for parents and their babies.
The not-for-profit, community owned, private hospital and nursing home facility is focused on providing quality clinical services.