Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker has again written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after she promised to ‘take another look’ into the Lumsden Maternity Centre downgrade.
“I have written to the Prime Minister and asked for her findings as well as informing her of the second birth in the Lumsden area in just 11 days,” Mr Walker says.
“This could be a matter of life or death. All we have to do is look across the ditch to rural Queensland where since the downgrading of maternity services the death of babies in every 1000 is now at 23.3, compared with 6.1 in rural areas with obstetrics.
“Any death is one too many, but we should do everything we can to reduce the number, which is what I have raised with the Prime Minister. I have grave concerns a similar situation could happen here following the downgrade of the Lumsden Maternity Centre.
“In just 11 days two babies have been born in the Lumsden area, unable to make it to a primary birthing facility.
“The downgrade of the centre should not have gone ahead and it is Southland mothers and babies who are now at risk.
“No matter how prepared a mother is, when the closest primary birthing facility is over an hour away, babies will be born on the side of the road, or in the emergency hubs.
“The Prime Minister needs to act now and reinstate full services at the Lumsden Maternity Centre.”