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Today’s birth in the Lumsden maternal and child hub car park must prompt action by this Government, Clutha Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“This is the third emergency birth since the Lumsden Maternity Centre was downgraded in April, with all three mothers unable to make it to a primary birthing unit.

“Today’s birth progressed so rapidly the mother had to give birth in the car park of the Lumsden maternal and child hub. If the maternity centre had not been downgraded there would have been a second midwife on site, which would have dramatically increased the mother’s chances of making it inside to give birth.

“Within a couple of hours she was also discharged with there no longer being any post-natal care at the maternal and child hub.

“The downgrade of the Lumsden Maternity Centre is resulting in anxious mothers worried about where they will end up giving birth, whether it be in a car park, the side of the road or the primary birthing unit more than an hour away.

“It is not only the physical health and safety of these women that needs to be taken into consideration but also their mental health, as they are being placed under immense stress.

“The hub model is clearly not fit for purpose and National has already announced if re-elected next year we will reinstate full services at the Lumsden Maternity Centre.

“The Prime Minister needs to urgently intervene for the safety of rural mothers and babies in Southland.”

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