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Metro South Health is rolling out three new maternity hubs in Logan to improve the health of mums and newborn bubs, with the community lagging behind the state’s average on several health fronts.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services and Member for Woodridge Cameron Dick said the maternity hubs to be based at ACCESS Gateway in Logan Central, Browns Plains Early Learning Centre and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) in Waterford West were part of a $3 million ongoing annual investment in improving access to maternity care for at-risk women in Logan.
“All Queensland children deserve the best start in life. Unfortunately, some health outcomes for Logan’s mothers and children are significantly worse than the state average,” he said.
“On average, pregnant women in Logan are not attending the recommended number of antenatal appointments, which is why maternity is a focus of the Logan Community Health Action Plan (CHAP) I launched in May.
“In 2014-15, 10% of Queensland mothers smoked after 20 weeks gestation, compared to 15% in Logan overall, with some areas in the community as high as 27%.
“In certain areas of Logan, the rate of low birth weight babies is more than twice the state average of 7%.”
Member for Logan Linus Power said the new community-based service would build on the existing midwifery group practice offered at Logan Hospital, providing continuity of care in the community throughout and after pregnancy, and attendance at birth at Logan Hospital.
“The three hubs will be staffed by a Midwifery Unit Manager and a total of six midwives, which will be increased to 12 midwives in the third year,” he said.
“We know there is a strong correlation between access to antenatal care and improved health outcomes for mother and baby.
“It is another fantastic Logan CHAP initiative aimed at improving the health of mums and bubs. The plan also includes the award-winning Good Start to Life project to support Maori, Pacific Islander and vulnerable families in building knowledge, skills and confidence around optimal maternal and infant nutrition.
“I am thrilled that our Government is delivering these new services in our rapidly growing community.
“The Logan local government area has the seventh largest population in Australia and the population of Logan is expected to grow by 75,773 people by 2026.”
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business and Member for Algester Leeanne Enoch said there were a range of reasons why women were not accessing adequate antenatal care, including transport, cultural and social issues.
“These hubs have been carefully selected with these barriers to access in mind, and in consultation with the local community,” she said.
“All three locations have free on-site parking, within walking distance of public transport, and have links with other healthcare and social support services.
“About 65-70 babies are born weekly in the Logan Hospital.
“In the 2016-17 financial year, Logan Hospital celebrated the birth of it’s 70,000th baby.”
Manager of The Benevolent Society’s Browns Plains Early Years Centre Bev Book said a range of services were on offer at the centre to support local children and their families from conception, through the early years and off to a great start at school.
“We are very excited to add community midwifery outreach to our suite of services,” Ms Book said.
“We also host Mums and Bubs playgroups and complementary healthcare and support services, so it’s an ideal location for local expecting mums.”
The new hubs are being delivered by Metro South Health in partnership with community organisations. Services commence at the hubs in late October 2017.